BBB National Programs Archive

Flexcin International Partcipates In ERSP Forum

New York, NY – October 26, 2005 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) announced that Flexcin International, Inc. (Flexcin) marketer of the Flexcin nutritional supplement, has provided support for the claim “With no side effects .”

ERSP has recommended also that the company include additional disclaimers throughout the infomercial and modify comparative claims to prescription drugs and performance claims. The marketer’s advertising was reviewed pursuant to an anonymous competitive challenge.

ERSP, the electronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum supervised by the National Advertising Review Council (NARC), asked Flexcin to provide substantiation for core claims made in advertising for the Flexcin nutritional supplement, including:

“…the drugs don’t work.”
“This study shows…87.3% increase in joint function.” “…I didn’t have any pain.”
“With no side effects.”

ERSP was concerned that there are no disclaimers placed at intervals throughout the infomercial and no language that makes it clear to consumers that the results related through testimonials may be “atypical.”

ERSP determined that the comparative claims made in the current context reflect a product- performance comparison to prescription drugs and should be discontinued or modified to remove any direct or implicit references to prescription drugs. ERSP determined that the specific “effectiveness’ claim made by the spokesperson reflects her opinion and should be qualified with an appropriate disclaimer.

Further, ERSP did not agree that the single disclaimer at the beginning of the infomercial is adequate to reflect that the experiences of those offering testimonials about Flexcin are not typical. ERSP therefore recommended that additional disclaimers, close to the testimonials themselves, be added to future advertising.

Although ERSP agreed that the ingredients contained in the Flexcin nutritional supplement may have some benefits, ERSP recommended that product performance claims not specific to the ingredients be discontinued until testing on the product itself can occur. Finally, ERSP did not object to the safety claim “With no side effects” made in the advertising.

Flexcin, in its response to ERSP’s findings, said it is “very happy to have participated in the ERSP program and will be making some of the recommended changes based on ERSP.… Although we disagree that we do not make any comparisons to other drugs in the advertisement, we will take the ERSP’s recommendation into consideration and make modifications to certain parts of the advertisement…”