BBB National Programs Archive
Wellnx Life Sciences Participates In ERSP Forum
New York, NY – March 16, 2007 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended that WellNx Life Scienc es, modify or discontinue certain claims for the Mass System Limited Edition Muscle Building Supplement. The marketer’s advertising was brought to ERSP’s attention by Iovate Health Sciences International, Inc., a competitive manufacturer of nutritional supplements.
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).
Claims at issue in the ERSP inquiry included:
- “AMINOVOL is scientifically designed to dramatically increase protein synthesis at the cellular level, helping you stack on mass fast!” “AMINOVOL’s advanced amino acid technology, combined with XTEND24 and AbsorbMax, delivers a sustained release of large doses of essential, non-essential and branch chain amino acids, keeping your muscles anabolic and anti -catabolic all day long.”
- “NITRO T3 is designed to not only maximize testosterone and nitric oxide, but also minimize estrogen, DHT and cortisol.”
- “…the ultimate supplement stack for packing on muscle mass and gaining strength as fast as possible!”
- “The Cell Volumization Blast Stack is designed to increase cell volumization, delivering unprecedented gains in muscle size and strength and allowing to smash through training plateaus!”
- “The combination of creatine alpha-ketoglutarate and glutamine alpha- ketoglutarate work synergistically to pull in more water than ever before, creating a phenomenal anabolic environment for muscle growth!” “…preserve your muscle mass and glycogen stores, allowing you to lift more weight every time you enter the gym – a surefire way to pack on muscle mass!”
- “More testosterone + More Nitric Oxide= More Muscle, fast!”
- “I wanted to quickly put on muscle and jack up my strength…ANOVOL delivered big time! I put on 23 pounds of muscle in 8 weeks and my bench went up 50 pounds.”
ERSP determined that the fundamental message that was communicated by the claim “AMINOVOL is scientifically designed to dramatically increase protein synthesis at the cellular level, helping you stack on mass fast!” was supported by the testing data, but found the marketer could not support the statement that the increase in protein synthesis provided by Aminovol is dramatic, as is claimed by the ad.
ERSP found that WellNx demonstrated Aminovol provides doses of essential, non-essential and branched chain amino acids (i.e., leucine and valine), but determined that the marketer’s representation that the combination of Aminovol, XTEND24 and AbsorbMax “…keep[s] your muscles anabolic and anti -catabolic all day long ” was a claim of specific performance that would reasonably be relied on by consumers and was not supported.
ERSP did not dispute that the marketer has provided evidence demonstrating that the ingredients in Nitro T3 have a stimulatory effect on testosterone production, but concluded that claims that the product “maximized” testosterone and “minimize[d] estrogen, DHT and cortisol” were not adequately substantiated.
ERSP agreed with the marketer that in its advertised context and in the absence of any consumer perception evidence indicating otherwise, the claim that Mass System is the “…the ultimate supplement stack …” would be understood as a statement of puffery.
ERSP recommended removing the term “unprecedented” from the claim that the “Cell Volumization Blast Stack is designed to increase cell volumization, delivering unprecedented gains in muscle size and strength and allowing to smash through training plateaus!” and recommended that the claim that “the combination of creatine alpha-ketoglutarate and glutamine alpha-ketoglutarate” as contained in Anavol “pull in more water than ever” be modified or discontinued .ERSP also recommended that when revising its Website description of Aminovol, the marketer remove exaggerated product performance claims, for example that users will “….lift more weight every time you enter the gym.”
ERSP agreed with the marketer that the results demonstrated the claims of general efficacy on a test preparation similar to Nitro T3 on muscle attributes and testosterone in strength-trained athletes. In the absence of any reliable data to rebut the claim, ERSP determined that the claim “More testosterone + More Nitric Oxide = More Muscle Fast” was substantiated.
Although the uniqueness claims regarding Anavol and Aminovol may be appropriate, ERSP recommended the marketer discontinue its unqualified superiority claims with respect to product efficacy for both products. Similarly, ERSP concluded that WellNx provided a reasonable basis for exclusivity claims for Nitro T3 but determined that claims of unqualified performance superiority be discontinued or modified.
Finally, regarding the testimonial claim, ERSP was concerned that the typicality disclosure at the bottom of the advertisement was not clear and conspicuous and added that unless Anavol was the sole supplementary source of the muscle gain, it should be disclosed that the consumer used other muscle-building supplements.
The company, in it’s marketer statement said “Wellnx will closely consider ERSP’s recommendations on its claims in future advertising. Wellnx is a proponent of the industry self- regulatory process and welcomes the opportunity to participate in the ERSP.”