A candle burning at both ends in the wind

08Feb07

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“I lost 21 grams* with TrimSpa!”
* Estimated weight of human soul measured by comparing pre- and post-mortem weight.

America’s favorite train wreck derailed permanently with the death of Anna Nicole Smith of an apparent drug overdose, right on time at the early age of 39. As it turns out, she was our generation’s answer to Marilyn Monroe in exactly the same way that Chris Farley was our generation’s answer to John Belushi. While she obviously had a lot of other problems, the last straw may have come on Tuesday, when she was named as a co-defendant in a class-action lawsuit against diet-pill manufacturer TrimSpa alleging misleading marketing. Between the lawsuit and the negative publicity surrounding the apparent suicide of its spokeswoman, TrimSpa’s future is now in doubt. (That’s not to say she overdosed on TrimSpa, mind you; methadone is a far more likely culprit.) While the company’s competitors (some of whom have themselves been named in suits alleging similar or much worse charges) may be rejoicing at their suddenly increased market share if TrimSpa does go under, this high-profile death could be a black eye for the weight-loss industry as a whole.



3 Responses to “A candle burning at both ends in the wind”

  1. 1 the other Peter

    Have you seen the MSNBC interview with
    interview with Trimspa CEO Alex Goen? Near the end, he’s spinning it like mad.

    Paste this into your brower’s Address bar and turn off pop-up blocker.

    javascript:msnvDwd(’00’,’5319172c-edd0-4953-ac92-ac7e1a8173cc’,’us’,’hotvideo_m_anna’,”,’msnbc’,”,’17062204′,’TrimSpa%20CEO%20on%20Anna%20Nicole%20Smith’)

    But Pete you and I know better than most that the diet industry has taken much bigger and more direct hits than this and still generate millions of dollars every year. I’ll bet Trimspa sales, at the least in the short term, will go up.

    People want the help of diet pills, many as a quick fix. I heard one woman say how ephedra worked so well for her, right up to the point she had to go to the hospital. And not a moment later she lamented that she couldn’t get it anymore. Arguably diet pills might have their place, in a support function to diet and exercise, but that’s not the way they’re used most of the time.

  2. 2 the other Peter

    Made a mistake on the link.

    go here:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17063569

    look for the link at the in the Free Video box titled “TrimSpa CEO on Anna Nicole Smith” half way down the page on the right.

    Pete, feel free to edit my post.

  3. You may have a point. But then again, what bigger hit has the industry taken than this? Xenadrine being implicated in the death of Steve Bechler is the nearest comparable one I can think of. Sure, it helped lead to the ephedra ban, but he was a relatively little-known baseball prospect, not an internationally famous celebrity.

    Note: I’m not saying Smith overdosed on TrimSpa. As you surely know, its active ingredient is hoodia gordonii which is a claimed appetite suppressant, not a fat burner. I don’t know that anyone would call it dangerous in the way that ephedra was labeled; they just question its efficiacy. But while the lawsuit might have flown under the radar otherwise, she sure gave it a lot of publicity by killing herself two days after it was filed.

    Of course, all this is coming from a guy who used to drink vodka and NyQuil back in university, so that it for what it’s worth.


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