AbGone Usubstantiated False Advertising?

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AbGone National Advertising Review Council Complaint

The ERSP has also complained to the FTC about infomercials for 13 health-related products: 7 Day Miracle Cleanse, AbGONE, Centro Natural de Salud, Hepatol Complex, HoodiaLife, Nexiderm-SP Anti-Wrinkle Formula, Phenterprin HCL, Renuva Anti-Aging System, Rev XP, Sea Vegg Nutritional Supplement, Super Prostate Formula, Ultimate HGH, and Zantrex-3.

 The electronic Retailing Association (ERA) and the National Advertising Review Council (NARC) announced that they had launched a program to counter the dissemination of unsubstantiated and false advertising claims. The new Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) will be funded by the ERA but administered by the NARC. The FTC has expressed support for the program, which is set up to work like this:

Anyone with a complaint about a false or unsubstantiated infomercial or direct-response ad can fill out the complaint form.  The complaint will go to the attorney at the NARC for review.  The marketer is notified and has 15 days to provide substantiation.  Once the marketer provides the materials, the independent attorney has no longer than 45 days to review the materials and render a decision. Thus the process should be completed within 60 days.  If the claims and campaign are found to be misleading, the marketer will be asked to stop them.

If the false ads are not stopped, the matter will be referred to the FTC and reports, press releases and letters will be issued to notify the media and cable stations of the review’s findings.

However, if the ad is found to be substantiated, no action will be taken.
The ERA is the trade association for major companies who use electronic media to advertise goods and services to the public. Its membership is involved in multi-channel electronic marketing that includes infomercials and short-form commercials, live shopping channels, the Internet, radio, and convergence. (Convergence marketing involves integration of online and offline media.) The Savvy Shopper site and complaint form have been online for several years without with little or no public attention. However, increased publicity and the NARC involvement are likely to have an impact.

The ERSP complaint form asks when and where you saw the infomercial, so be sure to write them down as you view it. If you intend to challenge several claims, it is useful to prepare a summary in a separate document so you can copy and paste the text into the small spaces that the form provides. Note that the program evaluates the truth and accuracy of “core” claims of the direct response advertisements and is not set up to deal with financial concerns such as refunds and unauthorized charges.


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