BBB National Programs Archive
NX Care, Inc Participates In ERSP Forum
New York, NY – July 5, 2006 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended NxCare, Inc., marketer of SlimQuick Dietary Supplement (“SlimQuick”), modify testimonials and advised the marketer on general disclosures in future advertising. NxCare’s advertising was challenged by an anonymous competitor.
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:
- “SlimQuick is scientifically developed to overcome the physiological and hormonal barriers women face in losing fat.”
- “SlimQuick overcomes the hormonal and physiological barriers women face when losing fat through 6 fat-burning complexes.”
- “SlimQuick allows consumers “to lose 35 pounds in only 9 weeks!”
- “the world’s first female fat burner”
- “rapid weight loss”
- “I never dreamed I’d be able to lose 34 pounds in only 8 weeks.”; “I lost more weight than possible – even around my stomach, butt and thighs.” – Nadine Erin, Pharmaceutical Sales Rep.
At the outset, the marketer represented that it is indicated that it is revising its advertising campaign, specifically its use of consumer testimonials, to comply with the provisions set out by the Federal Trade Commission in its Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Nevertheless, because the marketer maintained that it may use consumer testimonials in future advertising, ERSP determined it would be useful to address its concerns regarding the marketer’s advertising
For example, in the absence of data reasonably indicating the typical results of using SlimQuick, quantified weight loss claims qualified by disclosures stating that “results may vary” or that the “results [are] not typical” are insufficient, ERSP determined.
ERSP further determined that personal relationships between the endorsers and should be disclosed to potential consumer. ERSP also recommended that the marketer address the illegibility and brevity of the superscript in the television advertisement, the small type used in the print advertisements, the monochrome print and backgrounds in some of the television commercials and print advertisements and the “disclaimer” used on the Website, which is not identified by an asterisk in the main claim and is not included with the more relevant product information tabs at the top of the Webpage.
ERSP concluded that online claims that “SlimQuick is backed by science” and “… scientifically developed to overcome the physiological and hormonal barriers women face in losing fat” would be understood by reasonable consumers as an ingredient “complex” driven claim as opposed to a claim communicating that the product itself was tested and that the claim was supported by the ingredient information submitted by NxCare.
ERSP agreed with NxCare that the ingredient/complex descriptions on one page of the Website did not constitute core claims. However, ERSP recommended the marketer modify the descriptions and the respective benefits of each ingredient.
ERSP recommended that, in the absence of evidence, the marketer refrain from stating that SlimQuick is “… the world’s first female fat burner.” ERSP recommended also that the marketer discontinue “rapid weight loss” claims until further specific evidence is obtained that would provide results more consistent with consumer expectations.
The company, in its marketer’s statement, said it appreciated ERSP’s analysis of its advertising claims and the scientific substantiation relied for those claims.
The company noted that it is “committed to the self-regulatory process and therefore will consider ERSP’s comments in its advertising.”