Vascular Health Specialists Participates In ERSP Forum
New York, NY – July 7 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Vascular Health Specialists (VHS) provided adequate support for performance claims made in direct-response advertising for Rosadyn.
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).
The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP pursuant to an anonymous third- party complaint.
ERSP reviewed online advertising for Rosadyn, and identified several claims for review, including:
• “Rosadyn is an advanced non-prescription oral nutraceutical that targets facial redness, facial flushing, skin inflammation, and ocular rosacea.”
• “The Vascular Support Blend has been shown to repair damaged skin vessel walls
and protect blood vessels from free radical and inflammatory damage”
• “Individually, these ingredients have been shown to mitigate inflammation, inhibit free radical formation, reduce skin redness and thicken and moisturize the skin from the inside-out.”
• “The Hypothalamus Support Blend includes ingredients which have been shown to
lower stress and anxiety responses in the brain, resulting in a naturally calming effect that produces relaxation without drowsiness.”
ERSP was also concerned about the omission of material information in testimonials regarding the generally expected product performance.
At the outset of the inquiry, VHS informed ERSP that many of the claims that were subject of the initial inquiry were part of a test marketing website that is no longer available. As such, ERSP reviewed the four remaining nationally disseminated claims.
Rosadyn, a nutraceutical that targets facial redness, facial flushing, skin inflammation, and ocular rosacea, includes a proprietary formula containing a variety of ingredients. The marketer provided ERSP with more than fifty studies that it asserted would demonstrate the efficacy of individual ingredients found in Rosadyn. Following its review of the evidence, ERSP determined that VHS provided adequate support for its performance claims.
VHS also provided ERSP with a copy of a pilot study consisting of an online survey of 55 participants who were provided with a one-month supply of Rosadyn. The results indicated that many participants saw a decrease in rosacea-related symptoms and 83% believed the product met or exceeded expectations. A follow-up survey showed continued improvement through the six-month mark.
ERSP was concerned, however, that testimonials at the Rosadyn site could create unsupported consumer expectations as to the performance capability of Rosadyn.
ERSP noted in its decision that, while it is not “questioning the authenticity of the testimonials, it cannot be ignored that the representations can be considered more than general or anecdotal and are not supported by virtue of subjective responses from a one- month online consumer usage study or by individual ingredient evidence.”
ERSP recommended that the marketer modify the testimonials page to ensure that testimonial claims are in compliance with the FTC’s Guides on the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising and do not create unsupported product performance expectations.
The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “[VHS is] heartened by ERSP’s conclusion that these studies adequately supported the four key general performance claims that remain part of Rosadyn’s nationally disseminated marketing material … we are nonetheless exploring ways to best incorporate ERSP’s recommendation into the testimonial section.”
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