BBB National Programs Archive
Swiss Labs Participates In ERSP Forum
New York, NY – July 9, 2009 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Swiss Labs, Inc. has provided reliable support for certain claims for the company’s Arthri-Zen Relief Dietary Supplement, but recommended the marketer modify certain claims. The marketer’s advertising came to ERSP’s attention pursuant to its ongoing monitoring efforts.
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 broadcast and online advertising that included:
- “Imagine 24-HOUR JOINT RELIEF!”
- “Arthri-Zen eases: joint discomfort; muscle and tissue aches; sleepless nights; stiffness and swelling”
- “Arthri-Zen Relief is clinically proven effective in the relief of joint and muscle discomfort.”
- “…And natural products like Glucosamine and Chondroitin just don’t work.”
- “With its unique delivery system Arthri-Zen Relief works quickly and effectively. You’ll feel a difference immediately
ERSP reviewed evidence that included a randomized, double-blind, placebo- controlled clinical trial on the currently formulated Arthri-Zen Relief product. Following its review, ERSP determined that the marketer’s clinical study provided adequate support for the marketer’s claims that the product could reduce joint and muscle discomfort when used as directed. However, given that a single study was performed, ERSP recommended that the marketer discontinue any reference to “clinical studies.”
ERSP noted in its decision that the marketer’s study indicated that 53 percent of the trial subjects who received the Arthri-Zen formulation experienced significantly less pain by the fourth day of the trial. ERSP noted that relief following four days of treatment is not consistent with consumers’ expectations of a product that advertises “immediate” relief. The marketer asserted that it would modify the claim, “immediate relief.”
ERSP further noted that that the marketer’s “24-HOUR JOINT RELIEF” claim could be interpreted by consumers as a reference to a systematic release of the product’s primary ingredients throughout the day. ERSP recommended that the marketer modify the context of the claim to clarify for consumers its intended message that users of the product can experience relief for up to 24 hours in between dosages.
ERSP determined that, based upon the evidence presented by Swiss Labs it is inaccurate to categorically conclude that Glucosamine and Chondroitin provide no therapeutic benefits and noted that the advertiser has asserted it will voluntarily discontinue comparative claims involving glucosamine and chondroitin. ERSP recommended the marketer not disseminate the same or similar claims in future advertising for Arthri-Zen Relief.
Finally, ERSP recommended the marketer move its disclosure language to the top of its testimonial Webpage to more clearly communicate the varying nature of the results of using Arthri-Zen Relief.
The company, in its marketer’s statement, said “While we believe that all of our advertising is fully substantiated, we have decided to accept ERSP’s recommendations in its entirety and will make the minor recommended modifications to our advertising. Swiss Labs appreciates the insight and expertise provided by this process and will take this guidance into consideration in future advertising.”