BBB National Programs Archive
ERSP Recommends Etekcity Corporation Modify Certain Claims for Levoit Himalayan Salt Lamp; Company Agrees to Do So
New York, NY – Nov. 14, 2017 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended that Etekcity Corporation modify or discontinue certain claims for the Levoit Himalayan Salt Lamp.
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 challenger.
ERSP reviewed online and broadcast advertising claims for the Levoit Himalayan Salt Lamp and identified several claims for review, including:
- “By heating the salt crystals, the lamp emits negatively ionized particles that help neutralize contaminants and allergens in the air . . .” and “This natural ionization pulls harmful contaminants and allergens out of the air . . .”
- “Salt lamp helps clean the air while emitting negative ions to fight the electromagnetic radiation created by electronics in the environment.”
- “[S]alt lamp is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs surrounding water molecules in the air.”
- “Each lamp emits ions that counter-balance electromagnetic radiation caused by your household appliances, reducing physical fatigue, stress and sluggishness.” and “It’s the perfect natural remedy for fighting insomnia, anxiety or stress-related issues.”
- “It’s a natural remedy for symptoms caused by respiratory problems, skin conditions, stress related disorders, insomnia, headaches, migraines and blood system disorders.”
- “A healthier home starts here.”
During the initial stages of ERSP’s inquiry, the marketer informed ERSP that it would voluntarily remove any terms or phrases that imply the Levoit Himalayan Salt Lamp is a cure or treatment for specific health conditions. The marketer also voluntarily modified claims such as “cleans the air” to include the qualifier “helps clean the air.”
As support for the performance claims at issue, the marketer provided ERSP with articles and studies relating to different aspects of the Himalayan Salt Lamp (such as the effect of light on Seasonal Affective Disorder), but was unable to provide any studies on the product itself.
Based upon the evidence submitted, ERSP concluded that the marketer did not have a reasonable basis for claims asserting that the Himalayan Salt Lamp may be a remedy for insomnia, anxiety, or stress related issues, and recommended that the marketer discontinue these claims.
ERSP did agree with the marketer that the claim “salt lamp is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs surrounding water molecules in the air” was an accurate statement regarding the hygroscopic properties of salt.
However, in regards to the modified claim “helps clean the air,” ERSP determined that these claims could be reasonably interpreted by consumers as meaning that the Levoit Himalayan Salt Lamp will effective purify and/or cleanse the air of dust particles or allergens, purportedly by emanating negative ions or by absorbing water molecules. Here, the marketer was unable to provide any scientific studies or product testing regarding the salt lamp’s ability to clean the air, or remove dust or allergenic particles from the air. As such, ERSP recommended that the marketer discontinue this claim.
Lastly, based upon the collective evidence in the test record, ERSP recommended that the marketer discontinue any claims that could reasonably imply that the Himalayan Salt Lamp is beneficial to a consumer’s health, whether as a remedy for a physical or psychological illness or by serving an air purifying function.
The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “Etekcity is happy to go along with ESRP recommendations. Since a few months ago, even before our correspondence with ERSP, we have been taking steps to reword our copy. With ESRP’s further recommendations, we will continue to make sure the claims specified are removed.”