January 21st, 2021
The phrase “experts say” is ubiquitous. You see it everywhere. Experts say a lot of things because they know a lot of things. But when it comes to professional endorsements, experts can’t say anything about the effectiveness of the product they’re endorsing that the advertiser couldn’t say directly. It is the responsibility of the advertiser to ensure that testimonials are truthful and substantiated, a responsibility that the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) says the marketer of Theraworx Relief has shirked.
In the video above, which is one of four pharmacist testimonials that appear on the Theraworx Relief website under the heading “Expert Opinions,” the health care professional says (at the 1:09 mark): “Theraworx Relief is better than any product out there for leg cramps or spasms or even muscle soreness.” But according to the NARB, the appellate division of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, the advertiser did not offer any comparative testing data to back up claims that its foams and sprays are more effective than other over-the-counter topical pain relief products. Moreover, the NARB said: “The panel determined that no evidence in the record supports the efficacy and implied superiority claims made in the advertiser’s pharmacist testimonials.”
In fact, the NARB cited many issues with the evidence that the advertiser provided in support of a number of marketing statements, including the claim that “all Theraworx Relief products are clinically proven safe and effective.” Said the NARB:
Deficiencies in the evidence included the lack of a placebo control in many of the studies, data that only addressed a specific condition (for example, Nocturnal Leg Cramps, or basilar thumb arthritis), or limited populations (participants over the age of 50 or Division One Collegiate Athletes).
The NARB recommended that the marketer of Theraworx Relief discontinue a total of 26 previously challenged express claims. When the advertiser declined, the NARB referred the matter to the FTC.
Find more of our coverage on pain relief products here.