New York, NY – June 4, 2014 – The National Advertising Division has recommended Hyperion Management, LLC, which markets the dietary supplements “Garcinia Cambogia Formula” and “SaferColon,” discontinue all challenged claims for the cambogia product and better disclose limitations the guarantee offered with “SaferColon.”
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
As part of NAD’s initiative with CRN to expand the review of advertising claims made for dietary supplements, NAD inquired about weight-loss claims in what appeared to be an online news “SPECIAL REPORT: How to Lose 28 Lbs. of Stomach Fat in Just 1 Month With 2 Healing Diet Cleanses Recommended by Dr. Oz.”
The challenged advertisement appeared to be a news article for “Women’s Lifestyle,” an online publication. Upon closer examination, it raised concerns for NAD that it was not in fact a news article, but rather advertising designed to appear as news, a practice that has been the subject of enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
At the outset, the advertiser said it had not authorized the claims and asserted that upon learning of the claims from NAD, it immediately sought to have the information removed from the third-party website. NAD administratively closed its inquiry as to the claims published at “Women’s Lifestyle,” and advised that the advertiser that it has an ongoing obligation to monitor various media channels where advertising claims for its product would typically be found and to immediately take action when any third party disseminates inaccurate advertising claims for its products.
NAD then considered claims made at the advertiser’s website, including:
• “Dr. Harry Preuss, a clinical researcher at Georgetown University Medical Center, found that Garcinia Cambogia increases serotonin levels in user’s bodies, which helps them maintain lower appetite levels, resulting in sustained weight loss”
• “The natural (HCA) in Garcinia Cambogia is a natural appetite suppressant that reduces cravings and makes your body feel full which decreases the urge to eat less stimulating your body to burn more fat”
• “Garcinia Cambogia acts as a Fat Blocker, which means fat cells will not be allowed to form”
• “Helps maintain healthy stress hormone cortisol that can decrease the belly and thigh fat”
• “Positively proven in doses of 1500mg that contains 50% HCA.”
NAD noted in its decision that Dr. Preuss tested a “highly bioavailable, water-soluble calcium potassium salt of HCA (HCA-SX).”
HCA is an extract from garcinia cambogia, and the garcinia cambogia ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia Formula product is comprised of 60 percent HCA. While the advertiser maintained that the HCA in the studies it submitted in support of its claim is the same as the HCA found in the product, the designation of HCA-SX, a more bioavailable form of HCA, belies this assertion. Further, NAD noted, even if the HCA in the Preuss study and the HCA contained in Garcinia Cambogia Formula were the same, the HCA found in Garcinia Cambogia Formula is one-quarter the amount tested in the study.
Following its review of the advertiser’s evidence, NAD recommended Hyperion discontinue all remaining claims at issue for Garcinia Cambogia Formula. As to the claim “The SaferColon product like is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee,” NAD recommended that the advertiser disclose qualifying information in close proximity to the claim.
In its advertiser’s statement, Hyperion Management said it is “pleased that NAD closed its investigation concerning claims made about Garcinia Cambogia Formula by a third party without authorization from Hyperion when Hyperion, upon learning of those unauthorized claims, took immediate effective action to stop the third party from making those claims. Hyperion will continue to be vigilant in curtailing third party advertorials that seek to assert unauthorized claims as a driver of ‘clicks.’
The company noted that it “supports the self-regulatory process and the efforts of the NAD staff and accepts and will take into account all of NAD’s recommendations in future advertising.”