BBB National Programs Archive
ERSP Reviews Advertising for ‘Androfen,’ Recommends Marketer Modify or Discontinue Certain Claims; Find Marketer Can Support Certain Claims
New York, NY – Sept. 25, 2014 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended that Androfen, LLC, modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for Androfen, a dietary supplement intended to increase testosterone levels. ERSP also determined that certain claims were supported by the advertiser’s evidence.
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.
ERSP reviewed online advertising claims for Androfen, including:
- “Reduce body fat”
- “Increase muscle”
- “Accelerate sex drive”
- “CLINICALLY PROVEN TO:
- MAXIMIZE MUSCLE MASS
- BOOST SEX DRIVE & LIBIDO
- ENHANCE PERFORMANCE”
- “…reduce body fat by over 200%”
- “In a university clinical study, men taking the active ingredient in Androfen significantly increased their testosterone in only 12 hours and reduced their body fat by over 200% versus placebo.”
As support for the performance and establishment claims at issue, the marketer submitted several studies on Androfen’s key ingredient, fenugreek (T. foenum-graecum).
Following its review of the evidence in the case record, ERSP determined that the marketer provided a reasonable basis for claims that Androfen will improve libido and sexual performance and promote fat loss.
However, ERSP found that the evidence did not support establishment claims that fenugreek will help to increase muscle and maximize muscle mass. ERSP recommended that these claims be discontinued in the context in which they were presented. ERSP also recommended that the marketer discontinue the claim that “…in clinical studies, it was shown that 85% of test subjects self-reported an improvement in sexual desire.”
ERSP determined that the quantified claim that Androfen will “reduce body fat by over 200%.”, as it appears in the online advertising, could be reasonably interpreted by consumers to mean that users will experience a 200% fat loss from baseline. After reviewing the evidence, ERSP recommended that this claim be discontinued in its advertised context.
The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “Androfen, LLC has great respect for the role of ERSP in seeking to ensure truth and consumer confidence in direct response advertising. It welcomes and appreciates ERSP’s thorough review of advertising for its testosterone boosting product, Androfen. Despite Androfen, LLC’s respectful disagreements with ERSP on these aspects of the muscle mass and body fat claims for Androfen, it nevertheless certainly respects ERSP’s authority and views and therefore will give serious consideration to the recommendations contained in its report.”