Thursday, September 17, 2009

Supplement Marketing Going Over the Top

I've been a supplement user for two decades. I've never seen anything like the wacky marketing of some supplements today -- I believe that companies selling this way are going to completely screw up their own industry. If firms don't stop with the exaggerated claims and the heavy-handed push that they use to market their products, they'll find themselves regulated to death.

It's not just sleaze operators in the berry business, those who use the names of unwitting personalities like Oprah, Dr. Oz and Britney Spears to sell their cheazy supplements. Even DOCTORS are going over the top now. I just got an email from Dr. Marcus Laux for a new product he sells, which looked interesting to me. I am a customer of his already.

So I clicked on the "more information" button to get more details, and I was directed to one of those long, never ending scrolling web pages with gobs and gobs of detail and claims about this product. Unfortunately, there was not a single picture on that page of the back of the bottle showing a clear description of what is in the product. In other words, a SUPPLEMENT PANEL, which is the first thing that a savvy consumer is going to look at on a supplement product. It was nowhere to be found.

When I called the company's 800#, the salesperson told me she didn't know what a supplement panel is. I asked her to read off the ingredients, and instead, she starts to read off the long list of claims. No way I could get her to even answer my question of WHAT IS IN IT???

There are rules in place right now that should work to prohibit this kind of behavior. For some reason, they don't. I don't want more rules. My fear is that the sleaze element in supplement marketing is going to spoil the industry for everyone.

As a consumer of supplements, PLEASE stick to products you know are sold by quality marketing. Do not fall prey to companies that make wild claims and then don't stick to the rules, or that avoid showing you what's in the product. Steer clear of buying products that show up on pop-up boxes on the Internet, and those sold by multi-level marketers, at least from those who exaggerate claims. Let's clean up the business ourselves, as consumers, by buying smart.


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