NAD Finds Certain Perfectio Performance Claims Substantiated; Recommends Modification and Discontinuation of Others
For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs
703.247.9330 / email@example.com
New York, NY – August 11, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD), a division of BBB National Programs, determined that Zero Gravity provided a reasonable basis for certain advertising claims made in connection with its Perfectio line of medical devices, and recommended modification and discontinuation of other claims that were either not substantiated or conveyed an overly broad message. The claims at issue were challenged as part of NAD’s routine monitoring program.
NAD initially referred this case to the FTC and FDA for possible enforcement action in December 2019 due to the advertiser’s failure to participate. Subsequently, the advertiser agreed to participate in the self-regulatory process and the case proceeded to a decision on the merits.
During the pendency of the case, the advertiser voluntarily modified many of the challenged claims in lieu of permanently discontinuing them. NAD reviewed the substantiation for the following advertising claims, including those that were modified:
Perfectio™ is easy to use and you can achieve younger, firmer skin in as little as two weeks. C Scientifically proven
Results [from the Princeton clinical trial] proved that within a period of two weeks, the treatment increased skin elasticity and firmness by 18%, 39% by 8 weeks, and 42% by 24 weeks.
Within a period of eight weeks, dramatic visible improvement was reported by 100% of the subjects.
The limited edition has a combination of more infrared LEDs that will supply effective treatment to all skin layers.
LED anti-aging facial rejuvenation technique
LED facial technology gently delivers dosages of energy to the skin to reproduce collagen in the dermis while simultaneously diminishing signs of aging in the epidermis (top layer of skin).
[LED facial technology] is based on the science of stimulating collagen production, naturally filling and diminishing fine lines and wrinkles.
LED light may improve sunspots, age spots, dull complexions, uneven pigmentation, large pores, sun damaged skin, and early signs of aging.
LED light improves red flushing skin, rosacea, and broken capillaries.
Red light therapy is safe for skin.
Before and after photographs
Perfectio+ provides anti-aging results that are akin to cosmetic procedures.
Zero Gravity permanently discontinued the claim, “The safest and most effective, advanced Anti-aging product today,” as well as the challenged testimonial, “I have used it twice a week and since them have noticed a dramatic improvement in the appearance of my skin. My pores seem to be smaller; there is less discoloration caused by my melasma, and there is [a] reduction in my fine lines. Overall, I am pleased with the results.” NAD did not review these claims on the merits.
NAD determined that the advertiser had provided a reasonable basis for the modified claims, “Results [from the Princeton clinical trial] proved that within a period of two weeks, the treatment increased skin elasticity and firmness by 18%, 39% by 8 weeks and 42% by 24 weeks.”; “The limited edition has a combination of more infrared LEDs that will supply effective treatment to all skin layers.”; “LED facial technology gently delivers dosages of energy to the skin to reproduce collagen in the dermis while simultaneously diminishing signs of aging in the epidermis (top layer of skin).”; “[LED facial technology] is based on the science of stimulating collagen production, naturally filling and diminishing fine lines and wrinkles.”; and “Red light therapy is safe for skin.” NAD also concluded that the advertiser’s modifications adequately avoided conveying the implied claim that Perfectio+ provides anti-aging results that are akin to cosmetic procedures.
With regard to the claim that “Perfectio™ is easy to use and you can achieve younger, firmer skin in as little as 2 weeks,” NAD determined that the advertiser’s study on consumers’ ability to understand the device’s labeling and properly operate the device provided a reasonable basis for the claim that “Perfectio™ is easy to use.” However, NAD recommended that the advertiser further modify the claim “you can achieve younger, firmer skin in as little as 2 weeks” to avoid conveying the messaging that the product is capable of generating “younger” skin.
Further, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim, “Within a period of eight weeks, dramatic visible improvement was reported by 100% of the subjects” due to concerns regarding the fit and reliability of the advertiser’s evidence and the claim that “LED light may improve sunspots, age spots, dull complexions, uneven pigmentation, large pores, sun damaged skin, and early signs of aging” because the evidence was insufficient to establish that the results of a third-party clinical study could be extrapolated to the performance claimed for its product. NAD also recommended that the advertiser modify the claim, “LED light improves red flushing skin, rosacea, and broken capillaries” to remove the reference to broken capillaries.
NAD was satisfied that the evidence in the record provided a reasonable basis for the limited claim that the Perfectio device is “Scientifically Proven” to be an effective anti-aging treatment. However, NAD recommended that the advertiser to modify its use of the claim to avoid conveying a broader message regarding claims based on other data taken from the clinical trial conducted by Princeton Consumer Research Corp, such as the results of the study’s subjective questionnaire, which NAD determined to be unsupported.
Finally, with regard to the challenged sets of “before” and “after” images, NAD noted that these are product performance claims and, therefore, they must be supported, accurate, and representative of the level of product efficacy that a reasonable consumer can expect to achieve. NAD recommended that these images be discontinued or modified in a manner than conveys to the consumer whether the results depicted are typical and, if not, also discloses the results that a consumer may typically expect to experience.
In its advertiser’s statement, Zero Gravity stated that it will comply with NAD’s recommendations. Zero Gravity further stated that it “believes that all of its advertising claims were fully substantiated by science, data, studies, testimonials, and FDA clearance. Nonetheless in the spirit of compromise Zero Gravity will institute the NAD’s recommendations.”
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.
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