From one to three centimeters after the first application. five to six

after three weeks. When the viewers of M6 boutique, a tele-shopping program produced by Home Shopping Service (HSS), a production company of which Pierre Bellemare was CEO at the time, heard the promotion of the Bio Minceur slimming cream, they did not resisted. Above all, one of the four users present on the set boasted of having gone from size 44 to size 40. From June 1995 to September 1996, the period during which this product was touted on M6, he sold 400,000 copies. At 380 francs each all the same. However. After treatment and measurement, three consumers felt that their saddlebags had not melted as much as promised, one of them also complained of small redness, and filed a complaint. A consumer association, the Trade Union Confederation of the living environment, then brought a civil action.

Result: Pierre Bellemare appeared yesterday before the 31st chamber of the Paris Criminal Court for false advertising. The white hair, wearing beautiful, the theatrical voice and the ample gesture, the ex-CEO of Home Service vigorously defended himself. First, he pointed out that at the time of the broadcast (9:05 a.m.), a maximum of 200,000 spectators are in front of their post. “It’s very little watched,” pleaded the ex-CEO of HSS. Then, he explained that his mission, as CEO of HSS, focused exclusively on the form of the show but not on the content. “These are buyers who select the products,” he said. Then, we organize referencing sessions where the facilitators are present. They are the ones who choose the products that will go on the air.” And they are also the ones who build an argument based on the leaflet contained in the product packaging. Finally, Pierre Bellemare pointed out that for ten years that he had been dealing with this type of program, whether on TF1 or M6, it was the first time that he had found himself before a court. “It’s proof that we don’t treat our customers too badly,” he said. According to him, the rate of return of this product would have been only 3.2%.

Certainly, but what about the effectiveness of the cream? The figures produced at the hearing differed greatly. Two studies carried out by two laboratories, at the request of the Belgian manufacturer and exporter of Bio Minceur, showed with remarkable precision a reduction of 1.1 cm in the diameter of the thigh after 15 days and 1.07 cm but on one subject. There, Pierre Bellemare rose up and produced a study that showed a decrease of more than 2 cm. Better, but far from the promised 7 cm.

In short, the ineffectiveness of the cream having been demonstrated, it remained to be seen whether Pierre Bellemare had knowingly engaged in misleading advertising. “No”, retorted the ex-CEO of HSS who repeated that his title was purely honorary. Yes, said the prosecution, which requested that the sentence be read on air. Yes, estimated the prosecutor who demanded a fine of 150,000 francs. No, concluded the defense which requested the release. Judgment on December 18.

Reyes Maroto