New York, NY – Oct. 7, 2013 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that Wellnx Life Sciences, Inc., which markets the weight-loss supplement “NV Hollywood,” modify or discontinue certain claims for the product, including claims that consumers can drop one pants size in two weeks.
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
NAD asked the company to provide substantiation for claims made in a two-page print advertisement that featured a very thin and glamorous celebrity. The advertisement asked “how fast do you want to lose weight?” and answered its own question: “Really fast? Like drop 1 jean size in only two weeks fast? NV makes it possible.”
The facing page featured claims that included:
- “Drop 1 jean size in 2 weeks”
- “Lose weight fast (backed by two clinical studies)”
- “When stars like Holly Madison need to lose weight fast, they don’t settle for anything but the best. They use NV, Hollywood’s best kept weight-loss secret. It’s fast and effective! NV’s core ingredients are backed by two clinical studies that demonstrate its incredible weight-loss power.”
NAD also examined the implied claim that people who are not obese and use the product would see significant weight loss results.
NAD noted in its decision that the advertiser submitted two randomized double-blind placebo-controlled studies on Meratrim, the key ingredient in NV Hollywood Weight-Loss Supplements. Meratrim is a proprietary formulation of sphaeranthus indicus and garcinia mangostana extracts.
Participation in both studies was limited to subjects who were obese, but not morbidly obese. All participants ate the same 2,000 calorie a day diet and walked 30 minutes, five days a week.
Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD determined that the advertiser could support claims that the product is “effective” when used by those who are overweight, but recommended that the advertiser modify its claims to include a reference in the main claim to diet and exercise, both features of the Meratrim studies.
In examining the advertiser’s “two weeks” claims, NAD noted study participants who received Meratrim could have lost as little as 2.47 pounds by the end of two weeks – similar to the mean of the placebo group – and as little as 0.55 inches from their waists.
Overall, NAD noted, such reductions are insufficient to support claims that the product is “fast” or offers “incredible weight-loss power.” NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue such claims.
NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue claims that the product allows users to drop one pants size at the end of two weeks.
NAD further recommended that the advertiser modify the claim that referenced Holly Madison and other stars, and include a reference to the fact that the advertiser’s studies have only been shown effective for obese people. Finally, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its claim NV Hollywood is the “the weight loss secret of the stars.”
Wellnx, in its advertiser’s statement, said that as “a responsible marketer of dietary supplements,” the company appreciated “the opportunity to participate in NAD’s self-regulatory program and will consider NAD’s recommendations in future advertising.”