BBB National Programs Archive

ERSP Reviews Advertising For “iRenew” Bracelet; Marketer Voluntarily Discontinues, Modifies Claims

New York, NY – Feb. 18, 2011 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has noted that Harvest Trading Group, which markets the iRenew bracelet, has agreed to modify or discontinue a wide range of claims at issue in a recent 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 self- monitoring program.

(Full text of decision available to media, upon request)

ERSP reviewed broadcast and online advertising for the iRenew bracelet, and identified several claims for review, including performance claims, establishment claims, and expert testimonials.

Further, ERSP was concerned by the omission of material information in the consumer testimonials regarding the generally expected product performance.

At the outset of ERSP’s inquiry, Harvest Trading Group asserted that the direct response advertising at issue was being discontinued and that future performance claims for the product, including claims related to strength, balance and endurance, would be made in more limited context.

Specifically, the marketer said it would discontinue its use of balance demonstrations and qualify future claims with language consistent with evidence, such as “may promote” strength, balance, and endurance. ERSP confirmed that Harvest Trading Group removed streaming video of the original broadcast advertising and consumer testimonials from its Website.

As support for the claims at issue, Harvest Trading Group provided ERSP with several studies, including a double-blind, placebo controlled, university study that tested the product on 100 subjects. The study found that the iRenew bracelet provided a significant decrease in the mean number of errors on a balance test as compared to placebo. Results also indicated that subjects were able to complete more bench press repetitions while wearing an iRenew bracelet than a placebo bracelet.

The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “Harvest Direct is committed to ensuring that its advertising is truthful, accurate, and substantiated. We value and support industry self-regulation and welcome the ERSP’s decision regarding advertising for iRenew.”