The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Danoz Direct Pty Ltd (Danoz) following concerns that its infomercials promoting the Abtronic X2 Fitness System (Abtronic X2) were misleading, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.
Danoz is a direct online and television marketing company. The Abtronic X2 is a device that is worn like a belt around a person’s midsection and releases an electric current.
The ACCC considers between at least August 2013 and September 2014, Danoz engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and made misleading representations in its television infomercials and in testimonials about the effectiveness and benefits of the Abtronic X2 as a weight loss and fitness device, including that:
- Use of the Abtronic X2, without any exercise or dietary modifications, will produce weight loss;
- Use of the Abtronic X2, without any other exercise or dietary modifications, will produce firm, flat abdominal muscles;
- Use of the Abtronic X2, without any other exercise or dietary modifications, will tighten, tone, sculpt and flatten the stomach;
- One minute of use of the Abtronic X2 has the same effect as up to 400 sit ups; and
- The Abtronic X2 provides an intense workout, even when a person is sitting down, working at their computer or watching television.
Danoz has acknowledged the ACCC’s concerns and that it did not have reasonable grounds for making these representations.
“Businesses must be able to substantiate all claims that they make when promoting or advertising their products, or they risk breaching the Australian Consumer Law,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.
Danoz cooperated with the ACCC investigation, amended its advertising practices and has offered an undertaking to address the ACCC’s concerns.
As part of the undertaking, Danoz will review its compliance systems and publish a corrective notice on its website www.danozdirect.com.au.
A copy of the undertaking is available on the ACCC’s public register.
The ACCC took successful court action against a different corporate entity but similarly named Danoz Direct in 2003 in relation to the original Abtronic fitness system. Danoz Direct which was the subject of those proceedings is a different legal entity to the current Danoz Direct.