BBB National Programs Archive
Cigarrest Participates In ERSP Self-Regulatory Forum
New York,NY– February 24, 2006 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) announced that CigArrest, marketers of the CigArrest Stop Smoking Program, has provided adequate support for general performance and safety claims. ERSP recommended the company modify or discontinue express performance claims, establishment claims, and comparative claims. The marketer’s advertising was reviewed pursuant to an anonymous consumer complaint.
ERSP, the electronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) with policy oversight by the National Advertising Review Council (NARC), reviewed several core claims that included:
- “…clinically proven methods to help you avoid smokin g in any situation.”
- “We’ve helped over a million people to quit smoking…and to remain smoke-free, for life.”
- “…become a non-smoker in as little as seven days.” “…you’ll quit smoking without gaining weight.”
- “… we have not had any serious reactions or adverse side-effects ever reported.”
- “The most successful stop smoking program.” “Other methods can add up to hundreds of dollars!”
ERSP recommended the marketer discontinue all establishment claims, including “clinically proven methods to help you avoid smoking in any situation, as well as performance claims that include “… become a non-smoker in as little as seven days.”
ERSP recommended that in future advertising, CigArrest discontinue its permanency claim. ERSP further and cautioned that the claim “We’ve helped over a million people …to remain smoke-free, for life” could be interpreted as an express claim regarding the number of products sold and should be supported by accurate sales data.
ERSP remained concerned with the claim “The most successful stop smoking program.” and recommended modifying the claim to indicate that CigArrest is a “successful” smoking program but to discontinue the use of superiority terms such as “most” in future advertising.
ERSP found that scientific literature on the specific ingredients provided adequate support for the ingredient claim “The active ingredients work to make the smoker feel more comfortable while trying to quit by relieving nervous tension, irritability and the cravings associated with withdrawal.”
ERSP also found that the marketer provided reasonable support for the safety claim made in the following context: “… we have not had any serious reactions or adverse side-effects ever reporte d” and the safety claim “all-natural, non-addictive.”
ERSP agreed that the statement “Other methods can add up to hundreds of dollars!” as supported by the marketer’s calculations.
In response to ERSP’s findings, CigArrest stated it “…appreciate[d] this opportunity to demonstrate the CigArrest® Stop Smoking Program and support the efforts of NARC and the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program. To the extent that NARC may make any recommendation whatsoever for the modification of CigArrest advertising, now or in the future, the disposition of those recommendations will continue to be determined in accordance with our understanding and interpretation of regulatory guidelines. We are, however, reviewing your recommendations and intend to implement them in their entirety.”