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Monday, May 21, 2012

ERSP Reviews Advertising for HCG Triumph; Recommends Marketer Modify, Discontinue Claims

The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has recommended that Triu Naturals, LLC modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for the company’s HCG Triumph.

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 its ongoing monitoring program.

ERSP reviewed online advertising for HCG Triumph, and identified several claims for review, including:
  • “Lose up to 2 pounds per day.
  • “Incredibly fast and safe weight loss.”  
  • “Just as effective in the oral form as the injections.” 
  • “You are able to keep the weight off.”
  • “I lost 25 lbs in 21 days!”
  • “I have lost 10 pounds in less than 2 weeks!”
During the pendency of the inquiry, the marketer informed ERSP that it made several changes to its website and voluntarily removed all of the claims at issue. However, ERSP remained concerned about the core message (i.e., HCG Triumph will contribute to weight loss in a way that is separate and apart from the accompanying low-calorie diet) communicated in the advertising.

While ERSP confirmed that two of the testimonials were removed, the marketer continues to disseminate a testimonials section on its website. The “Testimonials” page does not include a disclosure indicating that the weight loss is atypical or the generally expected results from use of HCG Triumph. The marketer informed ERSP that it would add a disclosure, but ERSP noted the marketer did not provide any substantive evidence that would support the weight loss results depicted and advertised.

Several of the testimonials do not make a distinction between the homeopathic HCG drops and the low calorie diet plan. ERSP determined that the advertising continues to communicate that the HCG drops significantly contribute to weight loss in a way that is separate from the low calorie diet. As a result, ERSP recommended the marketer discontinue consumer testimonials as currently presented on its website.

The company, in its marketer’s statement, said, “We have made some corrective changes to our website and are continuing to give serious consideration to your Final Decision … We are pleased to have participated in ERSP’s self-regulatory process.”


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