WASHINGTON - An ad campaign that suggested milk can help people lose weight is ending, the Federal Trade Commission told a doctors' group that had complained.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine contended the weight-loss claims were false and misleading. The group, in a 2005 petition, had asked the FTC to order a halt to the dairy ads.

The agency did not take that step, but said in a letter to the committee that the groups behind the ads planned to end them.

"It is obvious that the industry did not have a leg to stand on," Neal Barnard, president of the Washington-based doctors' committee, said yesterday. His group advocates a vegan diet, which includes no animal products.

The two marketing campaigns at issue involve the "Milk your diet. Lose Weight!" ads on television, on the Internet and in magazines, and the "3-A-Day. Burn More Fat, Lose Weight" ads, now mostly Web-based.

The FTC, in a letter to the committee, said the agency had met with Agriculture Department officials and representatives for the two campaigns, which decided "to discontinue all advertising and other marketing activities involving weight-loss claims until further research provides stronger, more conclusive evidence."