BBB National Programs Archive
Vision Improvement Technologies Participates In ERSP Self-Regulatory Forum
New York, NY – July 15, 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 general performance claims made in the 30-minute infomercial, radio , and website advertising by Vision Improvement Technologies, marketers for the See Clearly Method, a vision- improvement technique, are protected speech under the First Amendment, but the marketer was asked to modify one claim to make it more consistent with the See Clearly Method publications. The marketer’s advertising was reviewed pursuant to ERSP’s ongoing monitoring program.
ERSP requested that Vision Improvement Technologies, based in Fairfield, Iowa, provide substantiation for: general performance claims (i.e., “in just minutes a day you can begin to: See more clearly; Eliminate or reduce nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, poor vision due to aging and eyestrain; Strengthen your eye muscles; Prevent further deterioration of your vision; Eliminate or reduce your need for glasses and contacts.”); testimonial claims (i.e., “I actually had that verified by a doctor, that the astigmatism decreased.”); and safety claims (i.e., “To the best of our knowledge, no injuries or other problems have ever occurred when the exercises are done as directed.”).
ERSP determined that the core claims communicated on the website and infomercial that were the subject of this inquiry fall within the constitutional protection afforded by the First Amendment because the advertising expresses the opinion of the author or quotes the contents of the publication; discloses the source of the statements quoted or derived from the contents of the publication; and adequately discloses the author to be the source of the opinions expressed about the publication. ERSP also determined that the statement “eliminate…poor vision due to aging,” on the company website that was reinforced in a similar consumer testimonial in the infomercial was not entirely consistent with the opinions espoused by the authors and should be modified accordingly.
In response to ERSP’s decision, Vision Improvement Technologies responded it “…supports the goals of the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulatory Program, and appreciates the manner in which the ERSP staff has handled this matter. While VIT believes that its advertising was fully truthful and nondeceptive, it
has decided to accept ERSP’s decision in its entirety and will make the minor modifications to its advertising that have been requested by ERSP.”