BBB National Programs Archive

Value Marketing, Inc. Participates In ERSP Self-Regulation Forum

New York, NY – May 10, 2005 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (“ERSP”), the electronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum supervised by the National Advertising Review Council (“NARC”), announced that it has recommended that direct response marketer Value Marketing, Inc. discontinue general performance, comparative market, and establishment claims made in its online advertising for the nutritional supplement Metabo Speed XXX.  The truth and accuracy of the marketer’s claims came to the attention of ERSP from a consumer complaint.

In the inquiry regarding Metabo Speed XXX weight loss supplement, ERSP requested that the marketer provide substantiation for several core general performance, comparative, and establishment claims that were communicated in online advertising including:  “Drop up to 20lbs in 30 Days!”; “It is the first product ever to be powered by an ultra -potent blend of natural, clinically proven metabolic compounds that work synergistically to produce unprecedented fat-burning results-without containing ephedrine!” and “Metabo-Speed XXX was recently put to an in-house test in a head-to-head comparison clinical trial against two leading ephedrine-based thermogenic products and it significantly outperformed both!”

ERSP concluded that the marketer did not provide the evidence necessary to support the performance claims, comparative claims, or establishment claims made in the advertisement. A marketer must have a reasonable basis for objective claims before such claims are disseminated, and with the omission of such proof, ERSP recommends that all such statements be discontinued until Value Marketing, Inc. can provide a reasonable basis to support these claims. Further, in the event that the marketer produces such evidence in the future, ERSP would recommend that Value Marketing, Inc. highlight the fact that an ongoing diet and exercise regimen are necessary in order to obtain and maintain any meaningful weight loss.

In response to ERSP’s decision, Value Marketing, Inc. responded that its marketing graphics team

“…will be instituting the changes that [ERSP] suggested. …Thank you … for you input and patience.”