BBB National Programs Archive
PatentHEALTH LLC Participates In ERSP Forum
New York, NY – Dec. 23, 2009 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that PatentHEALTH LLC., has provided a reasonable basis for certain general performance claims and establishment claims for the Apatrim dietary supplement, but did not adequately support claims relating to speed-of-action, or quantified establishment claims for the product. 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 examined claims in online advertising that included:
- “Experience real weight loss with: no stimulants – no starving- no straining!”
- “Apatrim’s secret is a safe natural ingredient that tells your brain your stomach is full. That means you eat less and lose weight.”
- “It starts working on your appetite within minutes after taking it.”
- “Controls Appetite”
- “Apatrim has been clinically shown to get great results.”
- “In a clinical study, participants taking Apatrim lost an average of five times more weight than those taking a placebo.”
- “In the clinical study, 100% of participants taking Apatrim lost weight or inches with out added exercise or dieting.”
ERSP found that there was sufficient evidence to support general performance claims that Apatrim, in conjunction with a disciplined diet and exercise regimen, “controls appetite” and that users will “experience real weight loss with: no stimulants – no starving- no straining!”
ERSP concluded that the marketer’s claim that “Apatrim’s secret is a safe natural ingredient that tells your brain your stomach is full. That means you eat less and lose weight” was properly supported.
However, ERSP found that the claim “… starts working on your appetite within minutes after taking it” communicated an inaccurate message regarding immediate weight loss and recommended the claim be discontinued in its current, unqualified context.
ERSP found that the marketer provided adequate data to support claims that the product has been proven effective in a clinical environment. However, ERSP recommended that the marketer refrain from using its “clinically tested” claim on the product packaging when accompanied by the caduceus symbol.
ERSP remained concerned with the quantified comparative claims stating that “In a clinical study, participants taking Apatrim lost an average of five times more weight than those taking a placebo….” and “In the clinical study, 100% of participants taking Apatrim lost weight or inches with out added exercise or dieting” and recommended that they not be used in future advertising.
Finally, ERSP confirmed that PatentHEALTH has appropriately limited the applicability of the results stated in consumer testimonials as used on the product website.
The company, in its marketer’s statement, said “While Patent Health believes it has adequate substantiation in support of all of its claims, those claims for which ERSP had concern, it will incorporate its recommendations and/or discontinuation in future advertising for Apatrim.”