Biometrics promoter Peter Foster has bowed to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's continued pressure and has withdrawn his defences and consented to injunctions over the sale of distributorships for an alleged 'thigh-reducing cream'.

The ACCC launched court action against Foster, his mother Louise Poletti, and three others in 1995. At that stage, Foster had fled Australia to the United Kingdom, where he was subsequently jailed for his part in a diet scam there. The Commission re-commenced proceedings against Foster in 1996 when he was arrested in Darwin and subsequently jailed following proceedings brought by the Australian Securities Commission.

"Foster has agreed to withdraw his defences to the ACCC's action and consented to court orders restraining him from making any further representations about the physiological or therapeutic effects of the 'thigh contour treatment' marketed as Biometrics," ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels said today. "He has also consented to restraining orders to restraining him from making misleading statements about similar weight control or weight loss products. He will pay the ACCC's costs of $15,000."

Professor Fels said that others associated with the Biometrics affair have also had their cases settled. Mrs Louise Poletti has consented to the similar orders. The other parties, Peter Harrison, Donna Moscardo and Preferred Sales and Marketing Pty Ltd (in liquidation) had all previously consented to injunctions proposed by the ACCC, Professor Fels said the ACCC's determination to seek a resolution of the case should reinforce to prospective wrong-doers who target small business operators that the ACCC would not resile from difficult cases, or where respondents sought delay in the hope of defeating the Commission's action.

"This case was important because many people became involved and lost large sums of money. These people preyed on those wanting to become independent and earn their own way. The ACCC again stresses the need for all people considering entering into franchises to carefully check their bona fides. Franchising can be an excellent investment, provided it is thoroughly researched."

Further information Professor Allan Fels, Chairman, pager (016) 373 536 Ms Lin Enright, Director, Public Relations, (06) 264 2808