BBB National Programs Archive
Natural Factors Nutritional Products Participates In ERSP Forum
New York, NY – Jan. 29, 2009 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Natural Factors Nutritional Products, Inc. has provided a reasonable basis for certain advertising claims made for the PGX Daily Ultra Matrix Softgels, SlimStyles Weight Loss Drink Mix and WellBet PGX capsules. The marketer has agreed to discontinue certain other claims.
The marketer’s advertising came to ERSP’s attention pursuant to an anonymous challenge.
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).
ERSP’s inquiry focused on claims included in online advertising. Claims at issue in the ERSP inquiry included: Performance claims:
- “Controls and balances blood sugar levels”
- “PGX Improves Syndrome X”
- “Maintained lean muscle mass and did not affect body water levels”
- “Metabolic rates were normalized, making it easier to keep the weight off- no rebounding effect.
- “No diet, drug, or other natural product can do what PGX can do…if PGX was a drug, it would be the most widely-prescribed drug in North America.”
- “…many very heavy and evenly morbidly obese people report that PGX reduces appetite so successfully that they consider it a natural alternative to stomach stapling!”
- “I lost over 30 pounds and dropped 4 pants sizes. I’ve tried everything but nothing else worked. I feel better than I have in years. I have more confidence and my family has really noticed my extra energy. I feel like a new person.”[S.B. Surrey]
Following its review of the evidence, ERSP determined that the totality of the evidence provided a reasonable basis for the claims that that PGX can “control and balance blood sugar,” that PGX supplementation did help normalize metabolic rates in its users, and that “SlimStyles with PGX increases insulin sensitivity, normalizes other important appetite hormones and supports healthy cholesterol levels.” The advertiser represented that it had permanently discontinued the “no rebounding effect” claim.
ERSP further determined that the marketer provided a reasonable basis for the claim
- “PGX Improves Syndrome X.”
ERSP noted that the claim “PGX lowers postprandial (after meal) blood glucose by approximately 20% and also lowers insulin secretion by approximately 40% producing a whole body insulin sensitivity index improvement of nearly 50%-a phenomenal accomplishment that is unequalled by any drug or natural health product” was directed to a professional audience. With respect to this target audience, ERSP determined that the marketer accurately communicated the testing results that served as the basis for the claim, but recommended that the claim be modified to clarify that the results were obtained in a specific study using a PGX prototype, to avoid the implication that these were generally expected results.
ERSP recommended that the marketer discontinue the claim “maintained lean muscle mass and did not affect body water levels” or modify the claim to more accurately describe the results of the testing.
ERSP noted that the marketer has said that it will disclose in all future marketing, whether the individual making a testimonial has a material connection to the company and whether the testimonials reflect the typical experience of consumers who use the product.
Finally, ERSP determined that the marketer provided a reasonable basis for the safety claim at issue.
The company, in its advertiser’s statement said that it “welcomes the opportunity to participate in the ERSP’s self-regulatory program. Natural Factors will modify its advertising to the extent required by the decision, and will continue to inform consumers about the health benefits of PGX.”