BBB National Programs Archive

Compex Technologies Participates In ERSP Self-Regulatory Forum

New York, NY – January 7, 2005 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) announced that Compex Technologies, Inc. (Compex), marketers of the Slendertone FLEX Abdominal Training System, have provided a reasonable basis for certain establishment, comparative, and performance claims. However ERSP recommended that Compex modify specific comparative claims and add a disclosure to testimonials. The marketer’s advertising was reviewed pursuant to ERSP’s monitoring program.

ERSP, the electronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum supervised by the National
Advertising Review Council (NARC), reviewed core claims that include:

“20 minutes, 5 days a week.”
“Clinical study: 49% increased abdominal; 72% increased abdominal endurance; reported firmer more toned abs.”
“First ab-belt ever cleared for sale by the FDA.”
“First belt that is proven to work…in as little as two weeks guaranteed.”

ERSP also expressed concern that the infomercial did not contain any disclosure that individual results from using the Slendertone FLEX may vary.

ERSP determined that the marketer provided adequate evidence to make its establishment claims, as well as performance claims that characterize Slendertone FLEX as a “Class II medical device…” that “… uses the same technology doctors use to rehabilitate and train their patients” and reflect the consumer expectation of observing results in “only 8 weeks.”

However, ERSP recommended the claim of “dramatic” results and claims promising results after two weeks based upon using the product for 20 minutes, five times a week, be modified in future direct-response advertising.

ERSP found 510(k) pre-market notification data, along with a letter from the FDA clearly indicating that the product has been cleared for sale for the improvement of abdominal muscle tone, the development of a firmer abdomen and the strengthening of abdominal muscles, provide support for the Compex claims that Slendertone FLEX is the “First ab-belt ever cleared for sale by the FDA” and “First ab-belt proven to work.”

ERSP recommended, though, that the marketer’s claims reflect a comparison with “all other ab- belts” as opposed to “all other ab products.”

Finally, in its review of testimonials, ERSP recommended that the marketer include prominent, conspicuous disclosure indicating that individual results from using the Slendertone FLEX may vary.

In response to ERSP’s findings, Compex stated it “…was pleased to participate in the ERSP process relative to the Slendertone FLEX™ Abdominal Training System (“FLEX”) … and even more pleased that ERSP concluded that the major performance, establishment, testimonial, exclusivity and comparative claims inquired about were properly substantiated. Compex recognizes and appreciates the relatively minor suggestions made regarding future advertising for the FLEX, and will take them into account in crafting such advertising…”