BBB National Programs Archive

ALCIS Health Takes Part In ERSP Forum

New York, NY – March 16, 2007 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended that  ALCiS Health Inc., marketer  of ALCiS Pain Relief, modify or discontinue certain  claims  made  for  the  product  in  direct-response  advertising.  ERSP  did  find  that  the marketer  provided  adequate  substantiation  for  its  “expert  endorsement”  and  noted  that  the company voluntarily discontinued certain claims.

Advertising  claims  for  ALCiS  Pain  Relief  came  to  the  attention  of  ERSP,  the  advertising industry’s direct-response forum, through ERSP’s routine monitoring program. ERSP examined claims that included:

  • “Clinically tested.”
  • “Results in as little as 5 minutes…and  lasts for hours.”;  “In fact, most users report a relief within 5 minutes of application, although some report more recognizable results after several applications.”
  • “1000s of doctor’s endorse it.” “Doctor recommended.”
  • “…safe, effective, with an onset of action that’ was fairly quick and a duration of action of several hours.”  [Dr. John E. Massey]
  • “…unlike other topical creams…or pills that go throughout the system…ALCiS  targets where it hurts.”
  • “a better  method  of making   liposomes,  a way  to  make  them   more  abundant  in the formulation, a way to improve delivery of the active ingredients to the site of action.” “There’s never been anything that fights pain and makes you feel relief like ALCiS.” “ALCiS took my pain away.”
  • “Safe to use, non-toxic, it’s effective.”
  • “Safe and effective alternative to traditional treatment.”

At the outset of the ERSP review, ALCiS represented to ERSP that the company was revising its marketing and either had or would discontinue certain claims, including the claim that the product was “clinically tested,” which had appeared briefly on the company’s Website.

The company represented also that it had voluntarily decided, at this time, to refrain from making any comparative reference to the safety or efficacy of ALCiS in its future advertising (“There’s never been anything that fights pain and makes you feel relief like ALCiS.”), limit product- performance claims to descriptions of ALCiS’ delivery system and discontinue the claim that “1000’s of doctors endorse” ALCiS.


Following its review of the evidence,  ERSP determined  that the marketer’s  testing provided a reasonable basis for the general claim that patients can see results in as little as five minutes and its claim describing the liposome technology.

ERSP  recommended  that  ALCiS  modify  its claim  that  “most users report a relief  within five minutes of application” because the evidence in the record does not support the claim in its literal context.  ERSP  further  recommended  the marketer  modify  in future  advertising  the claim  that ALCiS can provide “relief of chronic arthritis. ”

ERSP   found  that  the  expert   endorsement   provided   by  Dr.  Massey  was  reasonable   and appropriate.  ERSP further  determined that the claim  “Doctor  recommended”  was sufficiently supported as long as the claim is presented as part of Dr. Massey’s endorsement.

ERSP further determined that ALCiS provided a reasonable basis for the claim that the product is

  • “… sampled in doctor’s offices nationwide…you don’t need a prescription.”

The company,  in its marketer’s  statement,  said it supports industry self-regulation and “thanks ERSP for both providing its  detailed  review of the advertising  claims for ALCiS Daily Relief Pain Relief Cream and for allowing ALCiS Health, Inc. the opportunity  to provide supporting evidence for its claims.”

“We are pleased that our participation in this process has resulted in a satisfactory conclusion, and appreciate ERSP’s efforts in ensuring that electronic retailer communications with the public are fair and accurate,” ALCiS said.