Company Declines to Participate in NAD Self-Regulatory Forum
New York, NY – October 29, 2007 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus will refer advertising from Bioforce USA for “Sanhelios Curbita Bladder Caps” to the appropriate federal agencies following the company’s refusal to participate in an NAD proceeding.
NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, has expanded its review of dietary supplements, pursuant to a series of grants from the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). Advertising claims for the Bioforce product were challenged by CRN. Claims at issue in print and Internet advertising included:
Claims at issue included:
- “Sanhelios found that the oil derived from a special species of pumpkinseed, Curbita provides a unique ability to enhance bladder function for men and women.”
- “Pumpkin Seed Oil supports the entire system of bladder muscles.”
- “This capsule holds the secret for strengthening the bladder.”
- “Curbita Bladder Caps has the unique ability to enhance bladder function for men and women”
- “It helps strengthen bladder muscles while supporting normal emptying of the bladder through the calming effect of this high dosage pumpkin power capsule.”
- “It supports normal emptying of the bladder because Curbita has a calming and harmonizing effect on the function of bladder muscles. This leads to a strengthening of the functional-urinary system for mean and women.”
- “Sanhelios found that high dosages of Curbita, pumpkins, have a unique ability to enhance bladder function, leading to a strengthening of the bladder muscles as well as the functional-urinary system.”
- “For a strong , healthy bladder, try Curbita”
The advertiser, in response to NAD’s inquiry, advised NAD that it had elected not to participate in the NAD review proceeding because the challenge was initiated by CRN. The advertiser contended that because CRN has funded the expansion of NAD’s review of dietary-supplement advertising, the advertiser believed the challenge to be improper.
NAD, in its decision, noted that it was disappointed by the advertiser’s decision not to provide a substantive response, especially in light of the strong health-related claims being made in the advertising.
Pursuant to its policies and procedures, NAD will refer this matter to the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration.
NAD's inquiry was conducted under NAD/CARU/NARB Procedures for the Voluntary Self-Regulation of National Advertising. Details of the initial inquiry, NAD's decision, and the advertiser's response will be included in the next NAD Case Report.
The National Advertising Review Council (NARC) was formed in 1971 by the Association of National Advertisers, Inc. (ANA), the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Inc. (AAAA), the American Advertising Federation, Inc. (AAF), and the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB). Its purpose is to foster truth and accuracy in national advertising through voluntary self-regulation. NARC is the body that establishes the policies and procedures for the CBBB’s National Advertising Division (NAD) and Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), as well as for the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) and Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP.)
NAD and CARU are the investigative arms of the advertising industry’s voluntary self-regulation program. Their casework results from competitive challenges from other advertisers, and also from self-monitoring traditional and new media. The National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appeals body, is a peer group from which ad-hoc panels are selected to adjudicate those cases that are not resolved at the NAD/CARU level. This unique, self-regulatory system is funded entirely by the business community; CARU is financed by the children’s advertising industry, while NAD/NARC/NARB’s sole source of funding is derived from membership fees paid to the CBBB. ERSP’s funding is derived from membership fees to the Electronic Retailing Association. For more information about advertising self regulation, please visit www.narcpartners.org.