BBB National Programs Archive

Iovate Health Sciences Participates In ERSP Forum

New York, NY – July 18, 2007 – The Electronic Retailing Self -Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Iovate Health Sciences Inc., has provided a reasonable basis for general product performance claims for the JointMD Joint Relief supplement, but recommended others be discontinued.  The  marketer’s  advertising  was  brought  to  ERSP’s  attention  by  WellNx  Life Sciences, a competitive manufacturer of nutritional supplements.

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

Claims at issue in the ERSP inquiry included:

  • “clinically proven to significantly improve joint function and flexibility.” “JointMD contains a clinically  proven ingredient that provides fast and effective  relief  for  all  of  your  joints  including  (the  product  labeling provides  “checked  boxes” for the following  areas of the body): Knees; Elbows; Back; Shoulders; Hips”
  • “Dramatically reduces joint stiffness faster!”; “Joint MD is formulated to provide faster joint relief and cartilage support”
  • “works             up        to         300      percent             faster    than      even     maximum-strength glucosamine, and its key ingredient is clinically proven to improve joint function and restore flexibility in as little as two weeks!”
  • “In our opinion JointMD works at significantly improving joint function, flexibility and reducing stiffness. We recommend JointMD for joint relief” “What makes JointMD really impressive is that it works up to 300 percent faster than maximum strength glucosamine, which was widely perceived to be the fastest joint supplement until now.”

ERSP determined that the  evidence  submitted by the marketer  provided a reasonable basis for general assertions regarding the product performance,  such as the core claim that the product’s primary ingredient begins working faster than glucosamine.

ERSP determined that the evidence did not support the establishment and quantified comparative claims  and  noted  that  while  the  general  performance  claims  are  supported,  it should  not  be implied  through the use of percentage  claims that the difference between  ingredients has been convincingly established through comparative testing.

ERSP has determined that the marketer did not provide adequate scientific evidence to support its claim that JointMD “works up to 300 percent faster than even maximum-strength glucosamine.” As a result, ERSP recommended that the claim by expert endorser Dr. Marvin Heuer that “What makes  Joint  MD  really  impressive  is  that  it  works  up  to  300  percent  faster  than  maximum strength glucosamine, which was widely perceived to be the fastest joint supplement until now” be discontinued, as well.

ERSP found, however, that the expert endorsement of five physicians, featured  in the marketers advertising and on product packaging is based upon a non-comparative assessment of the primary ingredient in JointMD and was supported by numerous articles and documentation submitted by Iovate.

As such, ERSP concluded that this expert endorsement was properly substantiated.

The company, in its marketer  statement,  said that “despite  its disagreement  with aspects of the ERSP decision, Iovate appreciates ERSP’s careful attention to this matter and will take ERSP’s recommendations into consideration in its future advertising. Iovate will also continue to support ERSP’s efforts to promote truthful and accurate advertising of dietary supplements.”