NAD Recommends Sure Nature Discontinue Advertising for Cold-Sore Product
New York, NY – July 9, 2008 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has reviewed advertising claims for Sure Nature LLC’s dietary supplement product “ImmunaSure.” NAD has recommended the marketer discontinue advertising claims that suggest the product treats or prevents cold sores, or strengthens the immune system.
NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examines claims in national advertising for truth and accuracy. As part of NAD’s initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition – an initiative designed to expand NAD review of advertising claims for dietary supplements – NAD examined claims in print and Internet advertising. Claims at issue included:
- “Kiss Your Cold Sores Good-Bye”
- “ImmunaSure is a blend of six, all natural ingredients that is guaranteed to work.”
- “Help Prevent Cold Sores and other viral infections by strengthening your immune system.”
First, the advertised product is a blend of five botanicals, two of which have been shown to exhibit certain general immune system benefits and one of which has been shown to have an effect on cold sores, when applied topically. Accordingly, NAD found insufficient evidence to support a claim that ImmunaSure “strengthens” the immune system.
Second, the advertising clearly conveyed a message that ImmunaSure is effective in curing and/or preventing cold sores.
NAD determined that a statement such as “kiss your cold sores goodbye,” could be understood by consumers to mean that ImmunaSure would cure or prevent cold sores, a message that is not supported by the evidence in the record. NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue this claim and other such claims that suggest ImmunaSure heals or prevents cold sores.
NAD noted that the claim that ImmunaSure will “Help Prevent Cold Sores and other viral infections by strengthening your immune system,” a claim that appears on the label of the product, was qualified and adequately explained that the product is meant to be an immune system booster, and not a cold sore remedy. However, in the absence of sufficient support establishing that ImmunaSure contains ingredients that have been proven to “strengthen your immune system,” NAD found that this claim was unsupported and, therefore, recommended that it be discontinued.
Sure Nature, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “accepts NAD’s decision and will take it into consideration in future advertising.”
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/CARU Case Report.
About Advertising Industry Self-Regulation: 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 the 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 in the Electronic Retailing Association. For more information about advertising self regulation, please visit www.narcpartners.org.