BBB National Programs Archive
Janson Beckett Participates In ERSP Forum
New York, NY – October 14, 2005 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) announced that Janson Beckett Cosmeceuticals (Janson Beckett), marketers of AlphaDerma CE anti-aging treatment, have provided support for broad comparative claims as to the ease of use of their product compared to Botox. However, ERSP has asked that Janson Beckett modify general performance, establishment, and testimonial, and specific comparative claims in online advertising. 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 Janson Beckett to provide substantiation for core claims in the advertising for its AlphaDerma CE anti-aging treatment, including:
“Quickly Remove[s] Fine Lines & Wrinkles.”
Alpha Lipoic Acid is “clinically proven … to repair aged skin while preventing future damage.”
“AlphaDerma CE is the best, safest alternative to Botox.”
“I have been using your AlphaDerma Prep, Eye, and lotion treatment for two months and I am ecstatic to say that it really does work better than Botox.”
ERSP determined that the general performance claims communicated in a categorical, non- qualified context were not supported. However, generally accepted information on some of the ingredients contained in AlphaDerma CE provided adequate support for Janson-Beckett to communicate in its advertising, in a qualified context, that its product “may help” or “can assist” in the reduction or alleviation in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. ERSP acknowledged that the marketer has provided clinical proof of the efficacy of a 10% argireline formula but did not confirm that the other ingredients in AlphaDerma CE were tested at the same formulation contained in the advertised product. In the absence of such information, ERSP recommended that the marketer modify its claims that the effectiveness of the ingredients other than argireline has been “clin ically proven.”
ERSP did not object to marketer referring to its product as an easier-to-use and less painful wrinkle -reducing option than Botox. ERSP did recommend, however, that Janson Beckett — in the absence of comparative data related to Botox procedures or other significant competitors in the anti-aging formulation industry – modify any comparative performance claims.
ERSP also suggests that Janson Beckett consider adding statements at the top of its testimonial home page to clarify that results of the product vary and that consumer testimonials are not the opinion of Janson Beckett. Finally, ERSP agreed with the marketer that a doctor’s testimonial is more a doctor’s endorsement of the product as opposed to a customary “doctors recommend”
claim and also concurred with Janson Beckett that the testimonial claim referring to AlphaDerma
CE as “liquid gold” is statement of puffery.
In response to the ERSP decision, Janson Beckett represented that it “…appreciates ERSP’s conclusion that there is adequate support for qualified claims that AlphaDerma CE ‘may help’ or
‘can assist’ in the reduction or alleviation in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. … Moreover, Janson Beckett understands the degree of substantiation generally accepted as sufficient to support categorical performance, establishment, and comparative claims. With all this in mind, Janson Beckett will review and modify its advertisement for AlphaDerma CE as appropriate. … Janson Beckett is committed to fair and truthful advertising and is pleased to have participated in the ERSP self-regulatory process.”