NEW YORK — The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program on Monday recommended that Lunada Biomedical discontinue weight-loss and other claims made for Amberen, a dietary supplement marketed to menopausal women. ERSP found, however, the company could support claims related to hot flashes, irritability, sleeplessness and “low libido.”
ERSP further recommended the marketer discontinue the claim that the “leading cause of weight gain in women over 40 is hormonal imbalance.” Further, ERSP recommended that the marketer modify its “guarantee” claim by expressly stating that the guarantee is a “money-back” guarantee.
During the course of ERSP’s inquiry, Lunada asserted that it had voluntarily discontinued all of the consumer testimonials and voluntarily modified the claim that “Amberen is the only product clinically proven to promote weight loss during menopause without additional exercise or restrictive dieting.”
Lunada provided ERSP with preliminary data from a recent clinical study, but did not provide ERSP with raw data that would allow ERSP to evaluate the statistical significance and reliability of the study. Given the omission of raw data, comprehensive findings and details about the testing protocol, ERSP recommended that the marketer discontinue its use of weight-loss 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 an anonymous competitive challenge.