Industry practice of using health professionals to bolster sales is questioned.
“We work closely with the marketing group because the research that we do is often hard to explain. We put the science around our products into understandable words.”
—David Vollmer, chief scientific officer, 4Life Research
“Regulators have been forced to be as severe as they are because there are a lot of really shaky claims out there.”
—Dr. James Gutman, chief science officer, Immunotec
The practice of direct selling companies utilizing scientific and medical advisory boards, clinical studies and expert spokespeople to help market their products is being examined by consumer advocates and regulators in an effort to curb what they view as misleading and deceptive marketing, according to a consumer group.
“We’ve always assumed that businesses engage experts to advise them with their products and services,” says Bonnie Patten, executive director of Truth in Advertising (TINA.org), a non-profit consumer advocacy group focused on uncovering false advertising. “One area that we have started to focus on is the use of these experts, more specifically medical advisory boards, as a marketing tool.”
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