BBB National Programs Archive

ERSP Finds Direct Digital Can Support Performance Claims for ‘Nugenix,’ Recommends Marketer Modify Certain Claims

New York, NY – Feb. 4, 2014 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Direct Digital, LLC can support certain claims for Nugenix, a dietary supplement intended to increase testosterone levels. ERSP recommended the advertiser discontinue claims related to increased “muscle mass.”

ERSP is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP pursuant to an anonymous competitive challenge.

ERSP reviewed online advertising for Nugenix and identified several claims for review, including:

  •  “Helps increase testosterone”
  •  “Helps increase libido and sexual performance”
  •  “Helps increase muscle mass”
  •  “Helps increase energy”
  •  “Studies and tests show the main ingredient in Nugenix is effective”
  •  “Nugenix is the #1 bestselling men’s vitality product in GNC Stores in the Unites States for 2013 for a reason.”

During the course of ERSP’s inquiry, the marketer said that it had voluntarily discontinued several claims cited by ERSP and had significantly revised its website. However, the marketer indicated it would continue to disseminate a number of core claims such as “helps increase free testosterone.”

The marketer also informed ERSP that it had discontinued any and all claims indicating that the product or its ingredients are “clinically proven” to provide the indicated benefits. The marketer also noted that it will discontinue claims relating to Tribulus terrestris.

As support for general performance claims made in the advertising, the marketer submitted a number of studies on the ingredients contained within Nugenix. ERSP found that the marketer could support general performance claims that Nugenix “helps increase” testosterone, libido, sexual performance, and energy.

However, after reviewing the evidence in the case record, ERSP determined that unqualified claims relating to increased muscle mass were not adequately supported.

ERSP found that the marketer provided a reasonable basis for claims regarding zinc, Vitamin B, and L-citrulline. ERSP further concluded that the evidence submitted supported claims that the product is “the #1 bestselling men’s vitality product in GNC Stores in the Unites States for 2013…”

The company, in its marketer’s statement, said “While we disagree with ERSP’s conclusion that the claim “helps increase muscle mass” is not adequately qualified, with the goal of full cooperation with advertising self-regulation, we will take ERSP’s conclusion into account when developing future advertisements. Direct Digital, LLC is committed to ensuring that its advertising is truthful, accurate, and substantiated, and we value and support industry self-regulation.”