BBB National Programs Archive

Bio-K+ International Participates In ERSP Forum

New York,NY– June 29, 2007 – The Electronic  Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Bio-K+ International (Bio-K+), has provided a reasonable basis for certain claims for the Bio-K+  CL1285  probiotics,  but recommended  modification  of others.  The marketer’s advertising was brought to the attention of ERSP by an anonymous competitor.

ERSP,  the  electronic  direct-response  industry’s  self-regulatory  forum,  is  administered  by  the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) with policy oversight by the National Advertising Review Council (NARC).

Claims at issue in the ERSP inquiry included:

  • “Clinically  proven  to  prevent  antibiotic-associated  diarrhea  (AAD);  C
  • difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD).”
  • “The highest concentration of fresh, live bacteria with a minimum of 50 billion at consumption.”
  • “A probiotic whose efficacy is medically proven.”
  • “As a nutritionist and researcher, I have not seen any probiotic perform as well as Bio-K+. For consistent results, I recommend Bio-K+…because it works!”

ERSP  determined   that  the  marketer’s   randomized,   double-blind,   placebo   controlled   study provided  a  reasonable  basis  for  its  claim  that  the  product  has  been  clinically  tested  for the prevention  of AAD.  However,  ERSP  noted,  it is  inaccurate  to state  the  product  is “clinically proven to prevent CDAD.”

ERSP recommended that the marketer clearly make a distinction  in its advertising to clarify that only the original, 50 billion strain Bio -K+ CL1285 is the product that has been clinically proven to prevent AAD and not the other product variations in the line.

ERSP determined that the marketer  provided a reasonable basis for claims of general product performance that were communicated in the advertising and found that the the marketer’s expert endorsements were appropriately communicated.

ERSP recommended  the marketer  include a clear and conspicuous  disclosure on the consumer testimonial page to alert consumers that the testimonials  are based on individual experience and that individual results may vary.

The company, in its marketer statement, said “Bio-K+ International has a long standing tradition of  communicating  balanced,  accurate  and  scientifically  validated  information  to  consumers. While we feel vindicated by the above review of our advertising by the (ERSP), the report makes recommendations that we support and have every intention of implementing.”