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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

ERSP Finds Syneron Can Support Certain Claims for Tanda Zap; Recommends Marketer Modify, Discontinue Certain Claims

The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has determined that Syneron Beauty provided adequate support for certain performance claims made in its direct-response advertising for Tanda Zap, but recommended the marketer modify certain 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 ERSP’s attention through an anonymous challenge.

ERSP reviewed online advertising for Tanda Zap, and identified several claims for review, including:

  • Clears individual acne blemishes fast.”
  • “No pain. No irritation. No dryness. And best of all no pimple.”
  • “Clears existing breakouts, Prevents future outbreaks, Improves overall skin condition, Safe for all skin types, No irritation, dryness or redness.”
  • “The Tanda Zap technology is gentle enough for all skin types and tones. There is no risk of burning, no pain, no dryness, no redness, no irritation, and no bleaching that can be experienced like with other types of treatments.”
  • “Tända Zap - Official Site - FDA Approved - Dr Recommended”
  • “Clinically proven to clear or fade acne blemishes within 24 hours.”

During the pendency of the inquiry, the marketer informed ERSP that it has discontinued all references to Tanda Zap being “FDA approved.” Syneron also voluntarily removed all consumer testimonials which reference Tanda Zap as being clinically proven to clear or fade blemishes in 24 hours.

To support its claim that Tanda Zap “clears individual acne blemishes fast,” Syneron presented ERSP with a study that demonstrated moderately raised lesions were cleared or significantly improved within 24 hours. The marketer also provided ERSP with several studies on blue light technology and a device that is materially similar to Tanda Zap. After a review of these studies, ERSP concluded that Syneron provided adequate support for claims that Tanda Zap can clear acne fast.

Regarding claims that use of the Tanda Zap results in no pain, irritation, or dryness, ERSP found that Syneron adequately supported the claim by providing ERSP with studies in which no side effects were reported by participants. The marketer was also able to substantiate its claim that Tanda Zap clears existing breakouts and prevents future breakouts.

ERSP remained concerned about the claim that Tanda Zap is “gentle enough for all skin types and tones.” After reviewing several of the studies submitted, it appeared to ERSP that the studies did not include subjects of all skin types. Additionally, ERSP noted that the claim could be interpreted as being inclusive of severe acne sufferers when that is not the case. ERSP recommended the marketer discontinue the claim or modify it in a way that accurately reflects the submitted studies.

Similarly, with respect to the “clinically proven” claim, ERSP found it to be disseminated in an overly broad context in which consumers could reasonably interpret the claim to be inclusive of severe acne conditions. ERSP recommended that product efficacy claims be accompanied by a clear and conspicuous disclosure indicating that the representations are based on testing of subjects with mild to moderate acne.

The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “Syneron Beauty appreciates ERSP’s thoughtful review of the clinical studies and underlying science supporting the efficacy of the Tanda Zap product by ERSP ... Syneron Beauty accepts ERSP’s recommendations and will take account of the decision in crafting future consumer communications.”

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