AbGONE Council of Better Business Bureaus Investigation

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Source: Council of Better Business Bureaus

SUAREZ CORP. INDUSTRIES’s AbGONE Weight-Loss Supplement Investigated

BASIS OF INQUIRY
Print advertising by the Suarez Corp. Industries for its AbGONE Weight-Loss
Supplement came to the attention of the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation
Program (“ERSP”) as a result of its ongoing monitoring program. The
advertisement featured a headline claim stating “New pill targets fat and water in the abdomen that cause the pot belly” along with side-by-side depictions of “Abdominal Area With Excess Fat And Water” and “Abdominal Area With Fat And Water Reduced To Ideal Levels.”
Among the core claims that were the subject of the ERSP inquiry were: a)
General Performance Claims (i.e., “The AbGONE ingredients increase the rate of fat metabolism, which reduces both surface and intestinal abdominal fat and helps inhibit future formation of these abdominal fats.”); b) Safety Claims (i.e., “The only side effects of the ingredients you should see in AbGONE are a better appearance, better mental function, and better health.”); c) Establishment Claims (i.e., “Studies have shown that
you can reduce abdominal fat in 4 weeks.”).
ERSP noted that it was also concerned by the marketer’s distinction between loss of abdominal fat and outer fat formed around the skin surface.
In a telephone conversation, ERSP was informed by the marketer that it believed that the time frames mandated by the National Advertising Review Council (“NARC”) to respond to the inquiry were “onerous and unrealistic” and consequently declined to voluntarily participate in the ERSP inquiry.

ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION
Any marketer or advertiser should be prepared to substantiate any claim that it makes before public dissemination of the advertisement. Suarez Corp. Industries failed to provide any substantiating information in response to ERSP’s inquiry within 15 calendar business days as mandated by the ERSP Procedures. The marketer was given a second 10 day opportunity to respond. In light of the marketer’s failure to provide a substantial written response to this inquiry, ERSP has referred this inquiry to the appropriate government agency.
Source: Council of Better Business Bureaus


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