NAD Recommends Company Discontinue ‘Clinically Proven’ Claim
New York, NY – October 24, 2007 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that Amerifit Brands, Inc. modify advertising for its Estroven brand dietary supplement.
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). As a part of its ongoing monitoring program, NAD requested support for certain print, Internet and labeling advertising claims for Estroven, Estroven PM, and Estroven Vitality. The following claims formed the basis for NAD’s inquiry:
“Clinically proven Estroven, the natural answer.”
“Estroven is the #1 pharmacist recommended supplement for menopause…”
“Estroven, with clinically proven ingredients, is the #1 choice among women for natural support during menopause.”
“Unlike prescription hormones, all-natural Estroven helps reduce symptoms safely and effectively, with no known side effects.”
“Estroven has four unique formulations to help reduce hot flashes and night sweats, as well as other symptoms like irritability, moodiness, sleeplessness and lack of energy.”
NAD examined evidence that included a number of studies on ingredients that found in Estroven, including black cohosh and valerian root. However, NAD determined that in the absence of any testing on the product itself, the advertiser’s “clinically proven” claims for Estroven were unsupported and recommended that they be discontinued.
NAD did, however, find that the totality of the research indicated that these ingredients can “help” accomplish the claimed benefits. Accordingly, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its clinically proven claims, but noted that it may make certain milder, ingredient performance claims, i.e., that Estroven contains black cohosh, isoflavones and valerian root – ingredient that may help reduce the symptoms associated with menopause and in the case of valerian root, may help one sleep.
NAD found that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis to support its sales and preference claims that “Estroven is the #1 pharmacist recommended supplement for menopause…” and “Estroven, with clinically proven ingredients, is the #1 choice among women for natural support during menopause,” as well as the claim that “Estroven is America’s top-selling women’s dietary supplement.”
The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while it does not “necessarily agree with everything in (NAD’s) report, we do agree that there are changes that need to be made and will comply.”
“It is our goal to always provide honest information, and not to over promise the consumer,” the company added.
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.