BBB National Programs Archive
Hydroderm, LLC Participates In ERSP Self-Regulatory Forum
New York, NY – April 20, 2005 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (“ERSP”), the electronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum supervised by the National Advertising Review Council (“NARC”), announced that direct response marketer Hydroderm, LLC (“Hydroderm”)
has provided a reasonable basis for general performance claims communicated for its Hydroderm Beverly Hills Anti-Aging System in website and print advertising, based on independent clinical research, and agreed to modify certain other claims included in its discontinued infomercial and television spot advertising, and some portions of its website advertising. The truth and accuracy of the marketer’s claims came to the attention of ERSP from an anonymous competitor challenge.
In the inquiry, ERSP requested that the marketer provide substantiation for several core performance and comparative claims that were communicated in its advertising campaign for the Hydroderm Beverly Hills Anti-Aging System. The representative claims at issue included: descriptive technological claims (i.e., “Hydroderm is the only anti-aging skin care system in the world with an exclusive delivery system that actually transports whole molecules of collagen directly to the skin without painful injections.”); implied performance superiority claims (i.e., “Now in just 3 weeks or less you can start looking years younger, without painful injections or surgery.”); comparative cost and “years younger” claims (i.e., “Look 10 years younger..); establishment claims (i.e., “After only 90 days of use, Hydroderm outperformed the competitors, helping reduce wrinkle length and thickness by a combined 63.5%.”) and performance claims about the System’s dietary supplement (i.e., “the Spa Formula . . . works from the inside.”)
ERSP determined that exclusivity claims based upon Hydroderm’s patented delivery system which transports molecules of collagen into the skin were appropriate, but future implications that no other anti- aging product “will ever have” this patented technology should be discontinued. Further, ERSP recommended that unqualified, comparative claims insinuating a more permanent effect than other anti- wrinkle cosmetic products be discontinued, as well as any implication that Hydroderm can therefore “repair” or “fix” lines and wrinkles. ERSP did agree that Hydroderm may be advantageously compared to other products in the industry with respect to its “ease of use” or the fact that it is “less painful than Botox,” but recommended that any express or implied unqualified comparative performance superiority claims be discontinued. Lastly, ERSP appreciates the voluntary discontinuance of establishment claims for acetyl hexapeptide 3 and the Dietary Supplement in future advertising materials for Hydroderm.
In response to ERSP’s decision, Hydroderm stated it was “pleased that ERSP found the general product performance claims for the System to be fully and properly substantiated…although we strongly disagree with the concerns that ERSP has raised with out clinical study…As such, Hydroderm agrees to discontinue making establishment claims until the completion of a subsequent clinical trial. With respect to comparative claims, we will review and modify advertising in light of ERSP’s findings so that all such claims are properly supported.”