BBB National Programs Archive

ERSP Reviews Advertising for ‘Hair Vitality,’ Recommends Marketer Modify or Discontinue Certain Claims

New York, NY – Nov. 23, 2016 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended that Hair Vitality modify or discontinue claims for its Hair Vitality dietary supplement.

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 Hair Vitality, including:

  • “Support lustrous and healthy hair”
  • “Promote hair cell growth”
  • “Thwarts hair loss”
  • “Reverse signs of hair loss and thinning”
  • “Horsetail Extract helps to maintain hair elasticity and to keep hair lustrous,” “Vitamin D helps prevent hair shedding which is critical to a voluminous fuller head of hair,” “B-Vitamin complex nourishes and supports a healthy scalp and hair growth,” “Collagen is an amino acid rich substance that forms the supporting structure for connective tissues in the body,” and ”Vitamin C is one of the most effective nutrients to help grow and strengthen hair, while biotin supports strong nails and helps maintain healthy hair.”

According to the marketer, Hair Vitality contains multiple vitamins that help to support hair. As support for performance claims, Hair Vitality provided ERSP with several articles concerning the ingredients found in the product. The marketer agreed to no longer disseminate the claim stating “The real fact is: Women will lose 50% of hair before it appears as ‘thinning’… but it’s not too late!” in its advertised context.

After reviewing the evidence in the case record, ERSP recommended that all of the performance claims that were at issue in this inquiry be discontinued along with the before and after depictions used in the advertising to demonstrate the product’s efficacy in providing significant hair growth.

Regarding the “free” product sample offer, ERSP concluded that the marketer’s advertising does not include a clear and conspicuous disclosure of all material terms of the transaction before obtaining consumers’ billing information and does not receive consumers’ express informed consent before charging their accounts. Accordingly, ERSP determined that the marketer’s free trial offer should be discontinued.

The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “Having considered the ERSP’s decision and conclusions, Hair Vitality agrees to abide by the recommendations of the ERSP and, at the present time, discontinue the core claims outlined in the ERSP’s decision in the context in which they were presented in any future advertising.”