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National Advertising Division In Brief

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Lunada's mice tests not "reliable predictor": Lunada Biomedical will discontinue claims for its Amberen menopausal relief supplement based on studies conducted with mice, according to the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program. The division of the Council of Better Business Bureau said April 8 Lunada's evidence does not alleviate concerns about claims based on how the ingredient succinate affects mice. NAD questions whether the effect "is a reliable predictor of how the substance will perform on humans." The tests do not answer questions "particularly with respect to heart cells, liver tissue and reconstruction of bone mass," ERSP said. The industry watchdog group, which received an anonymous challenge, also recommended discontinuing or changing Amberen weight loss claims to clarify users' results were not clinically evaluated and expectations for the time needed for effects. ERSP agreed Los Angeles-based Lunada can promote its product's uniqueness, but should discontinue unqualified comparative superiority claims in the absence of head-to-head testing. ERSP agreed Lunada's claims regarding increased metabolism at the cellular level and normalization of the hypothalamus were not inappropriate based upon the evidence. The firm disagrees with ERSP's concerns and "strongly believes that it has well-founded arguments supporting" its claims, according to ERSP's case report. But Lunada, "out of deference to the forum and in the spirit of cooperation," said it will make future advertising consistent with the recommendations

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NAD refers Hollywood Health and Beauty to FTC

The Council of Better Business Bureaus' National Advertising Division refers advertising for the weight-loss supplement Trimball-EXP200 to the Federal Trade Commission and FDA after marketer Hollywood Health and Beauty failed to respond to the industry self-regulation group's request for substantiation. NAD asked Hollywood Health and Beauty to support claims that Trimball-EXP200 "triggers automatic weight loss" and allows users to eat as much as they want and still lose weight. Testimonials that users lost "exactly 33 pounds without any effort" and "48 pounds in 7 weeks" also raised red flags. Under FTC's recently tightened guidelines for weight-loss testimonials, it is no longer sufficient to include a disclaimer that weight-loss results are not typical. Firms should disclose typical results, FTC says (1"The Tan Sheet" Oct. 12, 2009)

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