New York, NY – Aug. 28, 2014 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended that Obesity Research Institute, LLC, modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for Lipozene, a weight loss supplement.
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 through its ongoing monitoring program.
In response to ERSP’s initial inquiry, the marketer informed ERSP that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2005 had issued a stipulated final judgment regarding another product marketed by ORI. That order applies to Lipozene as a “substantially similar product.” The marketer provided written documentation that the FTC has reviewed certain claims and substantiating documentation in its 2006 compliance monitoring of Obesity Research Institute and Lipozene.
ERSP closed its review of claims covered by the 2005 order, but continued it review of certain performance claims and testimonials, including:
- “Lipozene has effectively helped millions of people meet their weight loss goals.”
- “With over 20 million bottles sold, Lipozene is America’s #1 selling diet supplement.”
- “There are no known side effects when taken as directed.”
- “Best of all Lipozene is all-natural and does not contain caffeine or other stimulants that can leave you feeling jittery.”
- “I have been taking this product for about 3 months and have lost almost 2 pant sizes. I take it 30 minutes before I eat and move all throughout the day. I absolutely love this product. It is by far this best product out there for a mother of 7 who doesn’t have time to go the gym.”
Following its review of the evidence in the case record, ERSP determined that ORI provided a reasonable basis for the claims “20 million bottles sold” and “millions of people meet their weight loss goals.”
ERSP did not object to the marketer‘s claim that Lipozene is “…all-natural and does not contain caffeine or other stimulants that can leave you feeling jittery,” but recommended the marketer discontinue or modify the claim that Lipozene has “no known side effects when taken as directed.”
ERSP found that the marketer’s current disclosures, as they appear in online advertising, were inadequate and recommended that ORI include an accompanying triggering symbol to alert website visitors that the claims do not depict results that may be typically expected by consumers.
ERSP also recommended that ORI modify or discontinue consumer testimonials.
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, Lipozene … Obesity Research Institute does not necessarily agree with all of ERSP’s analysis and conclusions … it nevertheless certainly respects ERSP’s conclusions and recommendations and will modify these claims in its future advertising.”