Radio Fraudcasting

Radio listeners tuning into disk jockey Jeff Kovarsky on Dallas, Texas radio station KKMR in late 2000 could hear him extolling a magical weight-loss remedy. iIt helped me lose 36 pounds," Kovarsky said. iI ate so much over Thanksgiving, I still have turkey burps. But thanks to Body Solutions, I keep the weight off and now I'm ready for Christmas. So, bring it on, Grandma. The honey-baked ham, the apple pie, the Christmas cookies. I'm not afraid because I've got Body Solutions Evening Weight Loss Formula." Kovarsky was one of the radio personalities at 755 stations across the country who received millions of dollars in undisclosed payments to hawk the products of Mark Nutritionals, which was shut down finally for fraud by the Federal Trade Commission in 2002. "Devoid of pictures or fine print, radio was the ideal medium," observes Andrew Wheat. "Millions of faithful listeners heard personal pitches from familiar voices, yet they could not see if the announcer plugging the product really had lost weight."