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ERSP advises Progenum International to modify advertising on weight-loss patch

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program on Tuesday recommended Progenum International modify or discontinue certain claims for Zvelt, its weight-loss patch.

ERSP reviewed broadcast and online advertising for Zvelt and identified several claims for review, including: “Just apply and say goodbye to those stubborn pounds;” “Just stick the patch on and watch the pounds roll off;” and “Zvelt’s unique formula of clinically proven ingredients are absorbed slowly through the skin to stimulate your body’s natural fat burning capabilities.”

During the course of the inquiry, the marketer informed ERSP that it had voluntarily discontinued its broadcast advertising, which contained several of the claims at issue in the inquiry.

After reviewing the evidence submitted by the marketer, ERSP determined that the consumer testimonials that appear on the product website are atypical and are not supported. ERSP recommended that testimonial claims of specific weight loss include a clear and conspicuous disclosure that the weight loss was obtained in conjunction with diet and exercise.

ERSP also found that the claim “No Crazy Diets,” in the context in which it is presented, may be reasonably interpreted by consumers as meaning they can lose significant weight without the assistance of a calorie-restricted diet. ERSP concluded that this message was not accurate.

The company, in its marketer’s statement, said “Progenum appreciates all of the interaction ERSP has afforded us during this process. Their input has been extremely helpful, and in fact, has provided the basis for the new scripting we are currently developing.”

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.

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Former GSK executive George Quesnelle given Ivan D. Combe Lifetime Achievement Award

BY Michael Johnsen

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Tuesday awarded the Ivan D. Combe Lifetime Achievement Award to George Quesnelle, former president, North America, Consumer Healthcare, GlaxoSmithKline, during the association’s Annual Executive Conference. 

While at GSK, Quesnelle was responsible for one of the greatest series of prescription to over-the-counter switches in the OTC medicine industry — Tagament HB, Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ — all within an 18-month window. The switches of Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ in particular were breakthroughs showing the tremendous impact that a nonprescription medicine can have on U.S. public health and also the significant value of combining product plus program — a cassette tape and training for group leaders of committee quitters in the initial switch.

Jim Mackey, George and Judy Quesnelle, Scott Melville

“George was a pioneer in the field of switch,” CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville said. “His work on groundbreaking Rx-to-OTC switches helped enable hundreds of thousands of people to take control of their health and, ultimately, their well-being. In the industry, George’s peers have long admired his confidence, conviction and unshakeable integrity. All who have had the privilege to work with him know he lives by the mantra of ‘doing well by doing good.’”  

The Ivan D. Combe Lifetime Achievement Award is the industry’s highest honor. This award is bestowed upon an individual whose actions have created a positive impact upon and/or benefit to the consumer healthcare industry and as a result, has directly improved self-care for U.S. consumers. The award was established in honor of Ivan D. Combe who was active in CHPA activities and served on the association’s board of directors from 1958 until January 2000. This award is presented annually to an individual based on the following criteria: experience, leadership qualities, outstanding service to the consumer healthcare industry/community and professional excellence.

Since retiring from GSK, George has served as an industry consultant through Pinney Associates.

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First 5 San Diego, Vons partner with County of San Diego’s Live Well San Diego campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN DIEGO — First 5 San Diego and Safeway’s Vons banner stores on Tuesday announced that they are going deeper into the community by partnering with the County of San Diego’s Live Well San Diego campaign.

“Through this partnership, First 5 San Diego and Vons will spread the message of Live Well San Diego and encourage healthier lifestyles throughout San Diego,” said County Supervisor Greg Cox, chair of the First 5 Commission of San Diego.

“Live Well San Diego is about connecting organizations of every kind for a shared purpose,” said Nick Macchione, director of County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency and First 5 Commissioner. “Partnerships like these are the key to making positive changes so that our children, their children and beyond can live healthier and safer, and thrive.”

In 2013, First 5 San Diego and Vons collaborated to reach thousands of San Diego County residents with healthy eating messages and promotions in stores and online. Together, First 5 San Diego and Vons have distributed more than 100,000 healthy eating information fliers throughout the community to educate and inspire county residents to take action and responsibility for their health.

Vons has financially supported First 5 San Diego healthy eating contests and promoted the healthy eating message in all San Diego Vons and Pavilions stores by displaying First 5 San Diego healthy eating materials.

“The Healthy Eating campaign materials and events have been well-received by our customers across the county,” said Carlos Illingworth, director public affairs and government relations for Vons. “The Live Well San Diego campaign is an excellent fit, and we are proud to support both organizations.”

The Live Well San Diego initiative began in 2010 solely as a health strategy, recognizing that San Diego County, like much of the nation, was facing a tidal wave of chronic disease and rising healthcare costs. The strategy has since evolved into the long-term initiative to improve the health, safety and quality of life of all county residents.

“Our efforts embody Live Well San Diego’s Building Better Health vision and goals,” said Kim Medeiros, First 5 San Diego executive director. “We are excited to join forces to support San Diego County’s long-term initiative to achieve healthy communities and to encourage all residents to make healthy choices at the supermarket, restaurants and home.”

First 5 San Diego helps parents and others to help children during a child’s first five years. The commission leads the greater San Diego community in promoting the vital importance of the first five years of life to the health and well-being of children, families and society. The ultimate goal of the commission’s work is that all children ages zero through 5 years are healthy, loved and nurtured, and enter school as active learners.

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