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.