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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ERSP Reviews Advertising for MyPillow; Recommends Marketer Modify Certain Claims

The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended that My Pillow, Inc. modify or discontinue certain claims made in direct-response advertising for “MyPillow,” including claims that the product can cure or treat conditions that include sleep apnea or fibromyalgia. The marketer voluntarily modified and discontinued other claims.

ERSP, the electronic direct-response industry’s self-regulatory forum, is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) with policy oversight by the National Advertising Review Council (NARC).

The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP pursuant to its ongoing monitoring program.

ERSP reviewed broadcast and online advertising for MyPillow and identified several claims for review, including:
  • “MyPillow has changed their lives and helped relieve their disorders such as: Snoring and sleep apnea, Fibromyalgia and TMJ, restless leg syndrome, migraines/headaches, neck & back pain, asthma/allergies, anxiety and insomnia.”
  • “70% of the people from our studies do not snore anymore at all, but it relieves everybody's decibels, it brings it down to a tolerable level.”
  • “No more migraines and I'm sleeping more soundly and longer than I have before!" 
At the outset of the inquiry, the marketer informed ERSP that it had modified its advertising to eliminate any claims expressly stating or implying that the product will relieve specific health conditions such as snoring, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, etc. My Pillow, Inc. also voluntarily discontinued its snoring reduction claim (“70% of the people from our studies do not snore anymore at all, but it relieves everybody's decibels, it brings it down to a tolerable level.”)

ERSP remained concerned about references on the MyPillow site to specific health conditions and featured consumer testimonials that attesting to how the product helped to alleviate certain conditions. It also found that without independent data, the testimonials cannot substantiate product performance claims. ERSP recommended the marketer discontinue references to specific health conditions on its website and the consumer testimonials that appear on the related pages.

The company, in its marketer’s statement, said that while it may disagree with ERSP, “…it certainly respects its findings and recommendations and will take them into account and consideration while making appropriate changes to its present and future marketing.”

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