BBB National Programs Archive
ERSP Reviews Advertising For Malegard, Marketed By Lifespan Health Products
New York, NY – July 19, 2007 – The Electronic Retailing Self -Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Lifespan Health Products has provided adequate support for the general product performance claims for the Malegard prostate dietary supplement, but recommended establishment claims for the product be modified. The marketer’s advertising was brought to ERSP’s attention through its ongoing monitoring program.
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).
Claims at issue in the ERSP inquiry included:
- “Survey of over 500 men in 2005 and 2006 support the effectiveness.”
- “2006 Survey Results: 87% of men had positive results; Proven to lower PSA; Reduce your risk of prostate cancer; Live healthier with Malegard.”
- “Reduces the risk of prostate cancer.” “Improvement in urination control.”
- “Used by physicians as well as other professionals.”
ERSP noted that during the pendancy of the inquiry the marketer voluntarily made several changes to the product Website.
Following its review of the evidence, ERSP recommended that any unqualified claims that are based on the results of the consumer survey should be modified to disclose that the survey was limited to consumers who were using the product at the time and to identify which prostate conditions reportedly improved.
ERSP determined that the marketer should disclose on both the Website and in the streaming video that many survey respondents also were taking prescription drugs for heart problems and/or prostate enlargement. ERSP further recommended that the marketer list the specific questions asked of the respondents and activate the “Survey Results” hyper-link on the product Website.
ERSP concluded that, with respect to general product performance claims, the marketer presented adequate support for its claims that the product “may assist” or “may be helpful” in reducing prostate cancer and urination control but concluded that definitive or categorical assertions such as “cuts risk of prostate cancer” regarding product efficacy should be modified.
ERSP concluded that the claim “Used by physicians as well as other professionals” was not a core claim in the advertising and did not warrant any further action from the marketer.
The company, in its marketer statement, said “At Lifespan Health products, we sincerely appreciate the thoughtfulness and fairness of ERSP in reviewing the claims we are making for our product, Malegard….We thoroughly concur with your position that marketing must be truthful and avoid potentials for misunderstandings, and appreciate ERSP’s contributions with regard to our own Malegard.”