BBB National Programs Archive

Helicor Inc. Participates In ERSP Forum

New York, NY – Dec. 3, 2008 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that  Helicor Inc., which markets the Stress Eraser Portable Biofeedback Device, has provided a reasonable basis for general performance claims and “clinically proven” claims for relaxation and stress relief. However, ERSP recommended the marketer modify advertising claims related to “mental focus.”

ERSP, the electronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum, is administered by  the Council of Better Business Bureaus with policy oversight by  the National Advertising Review Council.

ERSP  examined broadcast and online advertising for the product pursuant to ERSP’s ongoing monitoring program. Claims at issue in the ERSP  inquiry included:

  • •           “Clinically proven  to relieve stress , help you relax deeply everyday ,and renew your mental focus to help you excel”
  • •           “Winner of the seal of approval from the American Institute of Stress”
  • •           “…clinically proven way to counteract stress”
  • •           “Clinically proven  in numerous independent trials and studies”
  • •           “Introducing a breakthrough medical device that actually reverses stress”
  • •           “Use it for just 15 minutes a day and feel rejuvenated and completely stress free”
  • •           “Now  for the first time ever you can get all the benefits of biofeedback
  • relaxation training from a revolutionary hand held device”
  • •           “Traditional biofeedback systems require expensive office visits, headphones, chest straps, fingertip leads, power cords, software, and technicians. The stress eraser gives you all the same  therapeutic benefits without the hassles or high cost.”
  • •           “The Stress  Eraser trains you to be able to shift from the stressed mode, into the relaxed parasympathetic mode [Claire Wheeler, M.D., Ph.D.]”

ERSP  determined that evidence submitted by  the marketer provided a reasonable basis for its general performance claims and claims that the product is “clinically proven” for relaxation and to relieve stress. Further, ERSP  determined that the marketer provided a reasonable basis for the comparative claim regarding traditional biofeedback systems, as well as the expert endorsement. ERSP  determined, as well, that documentation from the American Institute of Stress submitted by  the marketer provided a reasonable basis for the claim that  the product was the “Winner of the seal of approval from the American Institute of Stress.”

However, ERSP  found that the evidence was insufficient to support the claim that the product  has been  “clinically proven” to renew mental focus and recommended the company modify the claim

During the course of the inquiry the marketer informed ERSP  that it has modified claims that the product will “actually reverse stress” and that users of the product can expect  to live “completely stress free” after 30 days use of the product.

The company,  in its marketer’s statement, said it is a “strong supporter of the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program” and noted that “ERSP’s conclusions and recommendations will shape our advertising message going forward.”