BBB National Programs Archive
ERSP Recommends VitaminVape Modify, Discontinue Certain Claims for ‘VitaminVape Vitamin B12 Vaporizer’
New York, NY – October 29, 2018– The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended VitaminVape, Inc. modify or discontinue claims made in online advertising for VitaminVape Vitamin B12 Vaporizer.
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 its ongoing monitoring program.
VitaminVape is a small, personal vaporizer which purports to administer vitamin B12 to consumers through inhalation. ERSP reviewed online advertising claims for VitaminVape and identified several claims for review, including:
- “Each vaporizer contains 100s of puffs of natural energy with no caffeine, no sugar crash, no calories, and no nicotine.”
- “VitaminVape is a personal vaporizer that delivers all the benefits of B12”
- “Better than shots and pills”
- “A better way to B”
- “VitaminVape is a breakthrough concept for delivering B12.”- Dr. Bal N.
ERSP determined that the core performance claims in the advertising could reasonably communicate the message that VitaminVape will deliver all the benefits of vitamin B12. The marketer provided one test that was conducted on the product, but ERSP expressed concern about the reliability of the testing data and determined that this evidence did not provide sufficient support for the claims.
The marketer also submitted three studies examining the effectiveness of vitamin B12 when administered through inhalation. However, ERSP was concerned about the relevancy of these studies because each study tested a different formula than the one in VitaminVape and the studies did not administer vitamin B12 through a vaporizer similar to VitaminVape.
ERSP recommended that in the absence of reliable testing on the advertised product or other reliable supporting evidence, the marketer discontinue any express or implied claims that the VitaminVape will provide energy or other benefits of vitamin B12. ERSP also recommended that the marketer modify or discontinue customer reviews that were featured in the advertising that could be construed as communicating express performance and/or comparative claims.
The advertisements also listed the benefits of vitamin B12, such as cell health, nerve function, and increased energy. While vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis, according to the evidence submitted, unless a person has a vitamin B12 deficiency there is no evidence that vitamin B12 supplements will boost energy. Accordingly, ERSP recommended that the marketer modify these claims.
Additionally, ERSP determined that the marketer could make truthful claims, such as VitaminVape being less painful than shots but also concluded that claims regarding the effectiveness and cost of VitaminVape were not supported by the evidence submitted and should be discontinued. ERSP further determined that the claim, “A better way to B” could reasonably be interpreted by consumers as meaning that VitaminVape is superior to shots or pills based on cost, convenience, or effectiveness and that this message was not supported by the evidence in the case record.
Finally, ERSP determined that the marketer could make truthful claims regarding the ingredients of VitaminVape, such as claims that it does not contain nicotine, tobacco, propylene glycol or diacetyl.
The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “We have already and will continue to evaluate and modify our communications based on the ERSP’s recommendations. We are very grateful for the opportunity to work within a self-regulatory framework, using the expertise of the ESRP, to make our company and products even better.”