The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program has determined that Innerthrive, LLC, can support general performance claims for Ultimate Natural Testosterone System, a dietary supplement intended to increase testosterone levels. However, ERSP recommended the marketer modify or discontinue certain claims and consumer testimonials.
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.
ERSP reviewed online advertising for UNTS and identified several claims for review, including:
- “More sex drive, muscle tone, strength, and energy.”
- “Healthy, Natural Testosterone Like When You Were in Your 20’s!”
- “Find out How to Increase YOUR Testosterone Up to 71% Naturally”
- “Will you see results in the first 3 weeks of your testosterone program? OF COURSE. You might experience more energy, an increase in libido, and loss of belly fat.”
- “Participants in a clinical study using a similar method saw an increase in testosterone of 71 percent naturally, with results in as little as 3 days.”
- “Ron from Florida increased his Testosterone 87% in 90 Days!”; “Chris from Colorado Increased his Testosterone 225% in 90 days!” and “After Starting with the Ultimate Natural Testosterone System, Nick Increased his Testosterone Baseline 316% Month-After-Month!”
During the course of the inquiry, Innerthrive indicated that it had discontinued several of the performance and establishment claims that formed the basis of the inquiry, including “Will you see results in the first 3 weeks of your testosterone program? OF COURSE. You might experience more energy, an increase in libido, and loss of belly fat.”
The marketer also informed ERSP that it was currently reformulating the product. Since Innerthrive did not represent that these claims would be permanently withdrawn, ERSP continued with its analysis of the claims currently being disseminated on the product website.
Following its review of the evidence in the record, ERSP determined that the clinical tests submitted provided a reasonable basis for the general performance claim stating “More sex drive, muscle tone, strength, and energy.” However, while ERSP found support for mechanism of action claims, it strongly encouraged Innerthrive to consider removing these claims as the reformulation of the product may have a significant effect on the performance of the product.
ERSP also remained concerned about claims promising quantified results (e.g., “Find out How to Increase YOUR Testosterone Up to 71% Naturally”). ERSP recommended the marketer immediately discontinue these claims as the case record did not contain adequate substantiation.
In its review of the consumer testimonials at issue, ERSP was unable to locate a disclosure indicating the typical results consumers can generally expect to achieve while taking UNTS. Accordingly, ERSP recommended Innerthrive discontinue the use of testimonials in the context in which they are currently presented.
The company, in its marketer’s statement, said “Innerthrive, LLC welcomes and appreciates ERSP’s thorough and thoughtful review of the advertising for its Ultimate Natural Testosterone System (“UNTS”). At such time when and if we resume advertising in the future, we will take ERSP’s conclusions and helpful recommendations into account in developing our advertising.”