Enzyte Maker Sued Over Ad Claims

Berkeley Premium Neutraceuticals in Cincinnati has been hit with two class-action lawsuits over its Enzyte “all-natural male enhancement” product. Both allege there is no evidence to support Enzyte’s advertised claim that it increases penis size, and both seek cash back for thousands of customers.

The suits, filed in Ohio and California in March, are the latest in a line of troubles for Berkeley. Until now, the company has promoted Enzyte without any peer-reviewed scientific evidence, a rep confirmed.

Enzyte is promoted with TV and magazine ads created in-house that look like a blue-chip pharmaceutical campaign. Berkeley spent $42 million on all its products last year, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Its revenues were about $100 million, per a company rep.

Enzyte is an herbal supplement, not a drug, and therefore not subject to pharmaceutical regulation. Thus, resistance is coming from civil suits rather than government intervention.

The trouble started in 2001, when Berkeley ran ads in Esquire claiming Enzyte would add “one to three inches to your size in just eight months or get double your money back.” Unhappy customers were unable to get refunds, the suits claim, and their credit cards were billed repeatedly without permission.

“To get a free sample, you have to give a credit-card number. … Once they have that, of course, they can charge you whenever they want,” said Jeffrey Goldenberg, a partner at Cincinnati’s Murdock Goldenberg Schneider & Groh, the law firm that brought the complaint.

The National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureaus has also condemned Enzyte’s ad claims.

A statement by Berkeley general counsel Paul Kellogg said the individual ingredients of Enzyte “have been proven effective through third party trials and/or research.” But as for the product itself, “the announcement of a trial on this brand is imminent.”