New York, NY – April 12, 2023 – In a challenge brought by Actegy Health Inc., the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that Fitness Cubed, Inc. discontinue express and implied claims that its Cubii Seated Elliptical Trainer:
- Improves quality of life, mobility, stiffness and balance;
- Allows users to become more independent;
- Reduces pain;
- Provides benefits comparable to walking;
- Adds strides, burns calories, improves circulation, and boosts energy;
- Increases energy expenditure;
- Works more than half the body’s muscle groups;
- Provides its benefits in a short amount of time; and
- Can be used as a replacement for certain types of rehabilitation programs, including exercise that has been prescribed as the standard of care after surgery or an injury.
NAD also recommended that Fitness Cubed discontinue quantified performance claims made in conjunction with some of the above-referenced benefits. The challenged claims appeared in four television commercials, with most claims presented in the form of testimonials from users of Cubii or medical professionals dressed in lab coats.
After carefully reviewing the evidence submitted by Fitness Cubed in support of its health-related claims, NAD determined that such evidence was not sufficiently reliable and recommended that all of the challenged claims be discontinued.
NAD concluded that an online survey of Cubii users who responded to questions about perceived changes in pain, activity levels, mood, sleep, range-of-motion, use of balance aids, and reliance on pain medication was not sufficiently reliable. NAD noted that self-reporting surveys can be unreliable, especially when the questions require respondents to report on conditions that are very personal and difficult to objectively measure, like pain, mobility, and quality of life. Further, a survey based on subjective measures of improvement that does not control for variables that may affect outcomes, such as lifestyle, diet, medications, etc., does not provide reliable evidence that the product (Cubii) is responsible for the claimed benefits, and not the other variables.
NAD also determined that other evidence relied on by Fitness Cubed could not support any of its claims.
During the proceeding, Fitness Cubed voluntarily agreed to permanently discontinue certain claims, including that Cubii reduces mortality and morbidity, and treats chronic conditions. Therefore, NAD did not review these claims on the merits.
In its advertiser statement, Fitness Cubed agreed to comply with NAD’s recommendations and stated that it “takes truth in advertising seriously and appreciates the opportunity to participate in the NAD’s self-regulatory process.” The advertiser further stated that while it “stands behind the accuracy of the advertising claims at issue, and paid third parties to conduct studies regarding many of the claims, it will agree to discontinue the claims pursuant to the NAD’s recommendation.”
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.