BBB National Programs Archive

Product Partners Substantiates General Performace Claims And Agrees To Modify Consumer Testimonials

New York, NY – November 3, 2004 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (“ERSP”), the ele ctronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum supervised by the National Advertising Review Council (“NARC”), announced that direct response marketer Product Partners, LLC has provided a reasonable basis for general performance claims for its “Slim-In-6” and “6-Day Express

Body Program,” and also voluntarily agreed to modify consumer testimonials included in the infomercial. The truth and accuracy of the marketer’s claims came to the attention of ERSP through its on-going monitoring program.

In the inquiry, ERSP requested that the marketer provide substantiation for several core performance claims and consumer testimonials that were communicated in the 30-minute advertisement for “Slim-In-

6” and the “6-Day Express Body Program.” Among the representative claims at issue were that: “[following this program] I lost 45 pounds”; “…went from a size 14 to a size 4.”; “Lost 73 pounds”; “Each week I lose three, four, fiv e pounds”; “Never before has losing weight been as fast and effective as with Slim in 6.”; and that “Slim training is a scientifically proven technique that combines moderate aerobic moves with light weight resistance training.”

Based upon ERSP’s preliminary review, it was concluded that Product Partners provided a reasonable basis for claims pertaining to the general performance capabilities (i.e., “Slim training is a scientifically proven technique that combines moderate aerobic moves with light weight resistance training”)and safety of the “Slim- In-6” and “6-Day Body Express” programs.

However, with respect to consumer testimonials which claim a specific amount of weight loss (in an unspecified time frame), ERSP determined that without any indication otherwise, it would be reasonable for consumers to interpret these anecdotal scenarios as having occurred within the first six weeks of using Slim-In-6. Accordingly, the marketer voluntarily agreed to add a super to each testimonial which reported a weight loss that took longer than six weeks to achieve and disclose how long it took those consumers to lose the pounds they reported.

In its acceptance of ERSP’s recommendations, the marketer also called for “other direct- response marketers to join Product Partners in supporting the ERSP program.”