BBB National Programs Archive
Iceland Health, Inc. Participates In ERSP Forum
New York, NY – October 21, 2005 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) announced that Iceland Health, Inc. (Iceland Health), marketers of the Iceland Health Maximum Strength Omega-3 nutritional supplement, have a basis for the safety claims made during a half-hour infomercial. ERSP, which reviewed the advertising following an anonymous consumer challenge, did ask the advertiser to modify unqualified superiority and performance claims.
ERSP, the electronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum supervised by the National Advertising Review Council (NARC), asked Iceland Health to provide substantiation for core claims in the advertising for its Iceland Health Maximum Strength Omega-3 nutritional supplement, including:
“…actually prevents heart attacks and strokes” “…better results than other omega-3 products.” “Don’t worry about adverse side effects.”
In order to clearly reflect the body of evidence regarding performance attributes of Iceland Health Omega-3, ERSP recommended that the marketer modify the advertising to communicate that “high levels” of Omega-3 can or may “…increase energy; improve your sleep; increase your memory…”.
Aside from the claim that “Omega-3 is the most powerful natural inflammatory,” ERSP determined that the group of unqualified superiority clams made in the infomercial may be reasonably interpreted by consumers as being specifically attributable to Icelandic Health Omega-
3. Although ERSP agreed with Iceland Health that the “… the best Omega-3 money can buy” would, in the context presented, be considered as a statement of puffery, the remaining claims were measurable statements that could be reasonably relied on by consumers. ERSP concluded that the marketer should modify its unqualified superiority claims to more accurately reflect the limited comparison of competitive products that is the basis for the claims. Finally, ERSP determined that Iceland Health provided a reasonable basis for its safety claims.
In response to the ERSP decision, Iceland Health represented that it “…appreciates the close and careful review of its advertising claims and the substantiation for those claims conducted by ERSP as part of the self-regulatory process for the direct response industry. Iceland Health will follow the views expressed by ERSP in future advertising for Iceland Health Maximum Strength Omega-3 Supplement.”