BBB National Programs Archive
ERSP REVIEWS ADVERTISING FOR INTELLIKAL PLUS. Marketer Discontinues Claims
New York, NY – Feb. 29, 2012 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that The Neutraceutical Company, LLC (“TNC”) has provided adequate support for certain claims made in direct-response advertising for “IntelliKal Plus,” a dietary supplement used to promote cardiovascular and bone health. The marketer voluntarily discontinued several claims that were the subject of the ERSP inquiry.
ERSP, the electronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum, is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) with policy oversight by the National Advertising Review Council (NARC).
The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP pursuant to its ongoing monitoring program.
ERSP reviewed broadcast and online advertising for Heart Factors Plus and identified several claims for review, including:
· “…helps support over 300 functions in the body and uses powerful co-factors to supercharge results! Magnesium helps with calcium absorption and muscle relaxation.”
· ““This extract [MenaQ7]… has been shown to prevent calcium from being in the arteries and soft tissues and gets calcium into your bones where it belongs”
· “Rotterdam study suggests IT!” and “Rotterdam Study Proves It”
· “Increases bone density and mass, May Reduce arterial calcium build up.”
· “Proven Bone-Building Results”
· “IntelliKal with MenaQ7 takes the calcium to your bones and away from your arteries.”
· “The ingredients in this super health cocktail help with stubborn belly fat, improved moods, a healthy immune system, healthy muscle and nerve function and even helps maintain normal blood sugar levels all while helping to protect your heart and bones.”
At the outset of the inquiry, the marketer indicated that it had voluntarily discontinued many of the performance and establishment claims at issue.
As support for the remaining performance and establishment claims, TNC submitted a number of studies regarding calcium, vitamin D3, and magnesium, the primary ingredients in IntelliKal Plus.After reviewing the case record, ERSP agreed that the marketer provided a reasonable basis for claims that IntelliKal Plus can help to increase bone density and mass and supports many functions in the body. However, ERSP recommended TNC refrain from making claims referencing weight loss until it can produce more reliable data on weight loss due to calcium at the same dosage thatIntelliKal contains.
Despite the marketer’s voluntary modification of its claim “Rotterdam Study Proves It” to“Rotterdam study suggests IT,” ERSP remained concerned about the potential inaccurate message that could be communicated by the claim. TNC advised ERSP that it had removed claims referring to “the reduced risk of arterial calcification,” but ERSP noted that the “Rotterdam study suggests IT” claim can be reasonably interpreted as a reference to the effects of vitamin K2 and calcium in “reduc[ing] arterial calcification.” Additionally, after reviewing the Rotterdam Study, ERSP determined the evidence did not adequately support the claim at issue; the dosage, method of administration, and form of vitamin K2 were not comparable to the ingredients found in IntellikalPlus.
The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “The Neutraceutical Company, LLC greatly appreciates the opportunity to participate in the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program and thanks ERSP for its guidance during the review process. … As noted, we voluntarily discontinued a number of claims. We recognize and appreciate ERSP’s recommendations and will consider them when developing future advertising.”
ERSP’s inquiry was conducted under ERSP Policies and Procedures for the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program. Details of the initial inquiry, ERSP’s decision, and the advertiser’s response are available at the NARC Website, www.narcpartners.org
About Advertising Industry Self-Regulation: The National Advertising Review Council (NARC) was formed in 1971. NARC establishes the policies and procedures for the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the CBBB’s Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) and the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP).
The NARC Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies, Inc.) the American Advertising Federation, Inc. (AAF), the Association of National Advertisers, Inc. (ANA), Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB), Direct Marketing Association (DMA), Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Its purpose is to foster truth and accuracy in national advertising through voluntary self-regulation.
NAD, CARU and ERSP are the investigative arms of the advertising industry’s voluntary self-regulation program. Their casework results from competitive challenges from other advertisers, and also from self-monitoring traditional and new media. NARB, the appeals body, is a peer group from which ad-hoc panels are selected to adjudicate NAD/CARU cases that are not resolved at the NAD/CARU level. This unique, self-regulatory system is funded entirely by the business community; CARU is financed by the children’s advertising industry, while NAD/NARC/NARB’s primary source of funding is derived from membership fees paid to the CBBB. ERSP’s funding is primarily derived from membership in the Electronic Retailing Association. For more information about advertising industry self-regulation, please visit www.narcpartners.org.