BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Finds Santica Can Support Certain Claims For CelluScience; Recommends Santica Modify, Discontinue Certain Claims

New York, NY – June 25, 2009 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Santica USA Research Labs, LLC, can support certain advertising claims for the company’s CelluScience product, but recommended certain claims be modified or discontinued.

As a part of its ongoing monitoring program and in conjunction with NAD’s initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition, NAD inquired about certain print advertisements disseminated by Santica. The print and Internet advertising included the following performance claims:

  • “In the most recent, published clinical study, 94% reported seeing results with this scientifically advanced anti-cellulite dietary supplement.”
  • “This CelluScience anti-cellulite dietary supplement contains the potent Vascolarys Complex that has been clinically proven to actually help reduce cellulite by helping promote healthy cell metabolism, helping maintain strong micro-circulation and enriching the body with anti-oxidants from the inside.”
  • “Five international, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled published clinical studies prove that this dietary supplement helps reduce cellulite.”
  • “In the last clinical trial (recently published in The International Journal of Cosmetic Science), 145 women took 3 capsules of either the anti-cellulite pill with the patented Vascolarys Complex or a placebo for 47 days. The women’s subjective evaluations indicated that after 30 days, 69% of those who took the active pills reported seeing cellulite reduction. After 47 days, 94% reported cellulite reduction.”
  • “Helps to reduce cellulite.”
  • “The action of CelluScience may lead to a measurable reduction in your hips, thighs, abdomen and ankles.”
  • “Helps reduce undercutaneous thickness.”
  • “Its draining activity helps improve cutaneous edema.”
  • “Helps increase cell metabolism, and can be beneficial for the interstitial matrix and for cell membrane fluidity.”
  • “It can reduce pain associated with cellulite resulting from compression, palpitation or pinched skin.”
  • “CelluScience may help reduce thighs and abdomen. In a clinical study, thigh and abdomen circumference was reduced an average of 3.6% and up to 6.7% for the thigh, and an average of 4.1% and up to 11.1% for the abdomen.”
  • “In one study, 68% of the women who took CelluScience reported seeing results within 30 days and 94% reported seeing results within 47 days.”
  • “After treatment with CelluScience, you could see firmer, smoother and better looking skin.”

In response to the NAD inquiry, the advertiser said it would either discontinue or modify the claim that “CelluScience can produce results without any changes in diet, exercise or life style,” action that NAD found to be both necessary and appropriate.

NAD determined that the “before” and “after” photographs were likely to be interpreted by consumers as depictions of the appearance of cellulite before and after supplementation treatment with CelluScience, which is not accurate. NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue using the “before” and “after” photographs. Further, NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue testimonials that claimed the products produced a quantified reduction of cellulite.

Overall, NAD noted, it found that a significant study, conducted on the product in Siena, Italy, from April to July 2001 provided support for the performance claims under review, including claims that referenced a reduction in thighs, hips abdomen and ankles.

NAD also found the claim, “Five international, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled published clinical studies prove that this dietary supplement helps reduce cellulite.” was supported by the results of the five studies presented as supporting evidence to NAD.

NAD also requested supporting evidence for certain testimonials and “Before” and “After” photographs.

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it would “follow the recommendations made in order to improve our advertising practices and minimize our legal vulnerability.”