The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that National Weight Loss Institute (NWLI) can support general weight loss claims made in direct-response advertising for Prevoxin, a dietary supplement intended to promote weight loss, but recommended the marketer modify or discontinue certain claims.
ERSP is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP pursuant to its ongoing monitoring program.
ERSP reviewed broadcast and online advertising for Prevoxin and identified several claims for review, including:
· “And here's the good news, Prevoxin is a powerful, pharmaceutical quality weight loss supplement that is available to you without a prescription.”
· “Prevoxin helps your body increase the production of a fat burning enzyme which boosts your metabolism so that your body can burn more calories and shed pounds of unwanted weight and fat.”
· “Clinically Proven”
· “Lose three times as much body fat and up to 200% more weight than with diet and exercise alone”
· “Prevoxin’s active ingredient is clinically proven to help your body produce more fat burning enzymes making it easier for you to lose pounds of unwanted weight.”
· “In a double-blind study that included moderate diet and exercise, participants who took Prevoxin lost 200% more weight than those who didn't take Prevoxin. Participants who took pharmaceutical quality Prevoxin also lost 3 times as much body fat.”
· “…the first week I lost 10 pounds. I was able to drop the 30 pounds and 9 inches around the waist.”
Following its review of the case record, ERSP determined that the two clinical human studies on 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone, or 7-Keto DHEA, provided reliable support for the marketer’s establishment claim of 200% increased weight loss when using the product in combination with diet and exercise. However, ERSP found the evidence did not provide adequate substantiation for the claim that Prevoxin can help users “lose 3x as much body fat.”
Regarding claims pertaining to the “pharmaceutical quality” of Prevoxin, ERSP recommended that NWLI clearly present the related disclosure independently of the disclosure that qualifies weight loss results in order to prevent any ambiguity.
ERSP also recommended the marketer discontinue the testimonial in question, as the relevant disclosure did not adequately convey the results consumers can generally expect to achieve from use of the product.
The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “It welcomes and appreciates ERSP’s thorough and thoughtful review of advertising for its weight loss product, Prevoxin. … [NWLI] certainly respects ERSP’s conclusions and recommendations and will modify these claims in its future advertising.”