BBB National Programs Archive

ERSP Reviews Advertising for Omega XL

ERSP Finds Support for Certain Claims; Recommends Marketer Modify Certain Claims

New York, NY – April 27, 2012 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Great HealthWorks (GHW) has provided adequate support for certain claims made in direct-response advertising for “Omega XL,” a patented fish-oil dietary supplement. The marketer voluntarily discontinued several claims that were the subject of the ERSP inquiry.

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 broadcast and online advertising for Omega XL and identified several claims for review, including

  • “Live a life that’s healthy with the anti-inflammatory that’s 100 times more effective in treating inflammation.
  • “Omega XL Benefits: Inflammation and Pain, Joint Health & Joint Mobility, Heart Health, Healthy Cholesterol, Blood Pressure Support, Healthy Brain Function, Respiratory Health, Energy and Endurance.
  • “Compared to Omega-3 from fish or plants, extensive research on Omega XL has proven it to be more effective in treating inflammation that causes joint pain.”
  • “The powerful oil extract in Omega XL is made under a patent protected process and its effects are supported by years of research and studies — safe and effective with no known side effects.
  • “This diverse combination of essential fatty acids is what makes Omega XL so unique and is why over 25 years of multiple clinical studies confirms that Omega XL is the Most Powerful, Natural Anti-Inflammatory on Earth!”
  • “Omega XL is MUCH smaller yet MORE potent than regular fish oil.”
  • “In about 3 weeks after taking Omega XL I could feel the results.”

As support for the health benefits of Omega XL, GHW submitted a number of studies on PCSO-524, a patented oil and the primary ingredient found in Omega XL.

After reviewing the case record, ERSP agreed that the marketer provided a reasonable basis for some of the health benefits of the product regarding inflammation and pain, joint health and mobility, and the maintenance of respiratory health.

However, ERSP recommended GHW discontinue claims concerning cholesterol, blood pressure, and brain function. Further, ERSP recommended that the marketer modify its claim relating to heart health to include information regarding the daily maximum EPA and DHA dosages as outlined by the Food and Drug Administration. GHW also informed ERSP that it has voluntarily discontinued claims relating to energy and endurance.

In reviewing the establishment claims, ERSP recommended that GHW modify certain claims to include language pertaining to the suspected risks of the consumption of EPA and DHA in excess of 3 grams per day.

Although the marketer provided ERSP with comparisons of Omega XL with other types of oil and prescription medicines, ERSP determined that the comparative data could not support the claim that “… Omega XL is the Most Powerful, Natural Anti-Inflammatory on Earth!”

Similarly, although the marketer provided information on the effect of Omega XL on joint pain and inflammation, ERSP determined that the marketer’s representation that “extensive research on Omega XL has proven it to be more effective in treating inflammation that causes joint pain” could be construed as an establishment claim. ERSP recommended the claim be modified.

ERSP found the marketer adequately supported claims that “Omega XL is the ONLY product containing a total of 30 fatty acids” and that it “…is MUCH smaller yet MORE potent than regular fish oil.”

GHW indicated to ERSP that it had voluntarily discontinued the consumer testimonials at issue.

The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “It welcomes and appreciates ERSP’s thorough and thoughtful review of advertising for Omega XL. The Company is committed to ensuring that its advertising is truthful, accurate, and substantiated. We have reviewed ERSP’s decision regarding direct response advertising for Omega XL and we will take your recommendations into consideration in future advertising.”