ERSP Refers 7-Day Miracle Cleanse Infomercial to FTC


The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate claims made in a 30-minute infomercial for the 7-Day Miracle Cleanse. The infomercial's core representations included:

The infomercial came to the ERSP's attention through its own monitoring and a challenge by Dr. Stephen Barrett. Although directly contacted by telephone, the product's marketer failed to respond to the ERSP?s request for substantiation. In January 2005, the ERSP published the following report and asked the FTC to take action.


7-DAY MIRACLE CLEANSE, INC.
7-Day Miracle Cleanse Dietary Supplement and Program

BASIS OF INQUIRY

Direct response advertising by 7-Day Miracle Cleanse, Inc. (“7-Day Miracle Cleanse”) for its diet program and collection of herbal products came to the attention of the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (“ERSP”) pursuant to both its monitoring program as well as a consumer complaint. The thirty-minute infomercial featured the following core claims for which ERSP requested substantiation:

General Health Claims

Establishment Claims

Weight –Loss Claims

Consumer Testimonials

ERSP used its best efforts to contact the Marketer which included mailing the opening letter to the Marketer’s last known address and attempting to call the Marketer at its last known listed telephone number. ERSP also contacted the fulfillment company last used by 7-Day Miracle Cleanse to process its orders in an effort to locate the Marketer. After its initial attempts were unsuccessful, ERSP was finally able to contact the Marketer by telephone and the Marketer indicated that it would not respond to the self-regulatory inquiry.

NON-RESPONSIVE DETERMINATION

An advertiser must be prepared to substantiate any claim that it makes before public dissemination of the advertisement. Although ERSP could not locate the marketer responsible for the subject direct response advertisement, it has independently confirmed that this infomercial has not aired for several months. Pursuant to its ongoing monitoring program, ERSP will use its best efforts to assure that this infomercial will not run again.

ERSP initially contacted the marketer on December 9, 2004 requesting substantiation for  above stated claims. However, the marketer failed to provide any substantiating  information in response to NAD’s inquiry within 15 business days as mandated by the  ERSP Procedures. ERSP was able to speak with the marketer’s fulfillment company, and  the company alleged that 7-Day Miracle Cleanse was in breach of its fulfillment contract  but it did not have a current mailing address or telephone number for the marketer. After  several subsequent attempts, ERSP spoke with the Marketer and it indicated that it would  not submit a response to the self-regulatory inquiry.

On January 12, 2005, pursuant to section 2.6(B) of the ERSP Procedures, a second  attempt was made by ERSP to contact the marketer. Because the marketer has again  failed to provide a substantial written response within 10 days from the mailing, ERSP  has referred this inquiry to the Federal Trade Commission.   

Copyright 2005. Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. Reproduced with permission. For other such reports, click here.

This article was posted on March 1, 2005.

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