Tommie Copper infomercials said the company’s compression clothing would relieve severe and chronic pain and inflammation.
The Federal Trade Commission, however, said Tuesday that Tommie Copper, whose products have been pitched by talk show host Montel Williams, needs scientific evidence to make such claims in the future.
The FTC also said Tommie Copper must pay $1.35 million to settle charges of deceptive advertising practices.
The company couldn’t be reached for immediate comment.
According to the FTC complaint, since April 2011, the Mount Kisco, N.Y.-based company has advertised Tommie Copper copper-infused compression garments in infomercials, brochures, social media and print outlets including Arthritis Today magazine. The clothing, including sleeves, shirts and socks, ranges in price from $29.50 to $69.50.
The company’s infomercials, the FTC said, claim that “Tommie Copper truly is pain relief without a pill,” with celebrity and consumer testimonials saying the garments alleviated pain caused by afflictions like multiple sclerosis and arthritis, and could provide pain relief comparable to, or better than, drugs or surgery.
The FTC says those claims were false or unsubstantiated.
The proposed federal court order imposes an $86.8 million judgment against Tommie Copper, but it will be “partially suspended upon payment of $1.35 million by the defendants,” the FTC said.
“If the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial condition, the total amount will immediately come due,” the commission said.
The agreement, on file in a federal district court in the southern district of New York, said Tommie Copper was neither admitting nor denying the allegations.