BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Recommends University Medical Discontinue Claims for ‘Wrinkle Free Eyes’

New York, New York – August  19, 2009 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that University Medical Pharmaceuticals, Corp. discontinue advertising claims for the company’s over-the-counter product, WrinkleFree Eyes.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined print advertising for the product pursuant to NAD’s ongoing monitoring of national advertising. Claims at issue in NAD’s inquiry included:

  • “Clinically proven to reduce wrinkle appearance up to 85% in only 20 minutes.”
  • “Results as good as Botox only faster.”
  • “Truly effective topical alternative to Botox.”
  • “[t]his new technology works in only 20 minutes with results that last up to a week.”
  • “Originally developed to deliver medicine into the skin without needles, this breakthrough transdermal process gently works faster, deeper and with less irritation than ever before possible with topical treatments.”
  • “You’ll see a dramatic smoothing effect around your eyes in only 20 short minutes that lasts up to a week.”

In response to NAD’s inquiry, the company noted that it had conducted an internal study on its own employees and friends, but did not provide NAD with the study or disclose the methodology.  University Medical did provide to NAD the results of two studies, including one that tested the immediacy of results of the product used in conjunction with various concentrations of retinol and a second that required each subject to use the product on one side of her face. NAD noted that neither study tested the product as it is marketed and both had numerous methodological flaws. Following its review, NAD determined that the evidence in the record did not support the advertiser’s performance and establishment claims and recommended they be discontinued.

NAD further noted that the evidence in the record did not include head-to-head testing between topically applied WrinkleFree Eyes and Botox, a product that is injected. NAD determined that the evidence in the record was insufficient to support the wrinkle-reduction claims and comparisons to Botox (including the before and after photographs) and recommended that they all be discontinued. 

In its advertiser’s statement, University Medical Pharmaceuticals said it was disappointed with NAD’s conclusions. “Notwithstanding University Medical’s objections to the NAD’s findings, University Medical will take them into consideration and will modify its advertising accordingly,” the company said.