NAD Recommends Certain Claims be Modified, Discontinued
New York, NY – April 2, 2008 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that Pure Life, LLC modify or discontinue performance, speed-of-action and exclusivity claims for its Gabatrol Dietary Supplement product.
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.
Pursuant to its ongoing monitoring program, NAD examined print and Internet advertising claims that included:
- “Get Quick Relief from Stress, Anxiety and Depression – Guaranteed”
- “Feel Your Stress and anxiety Melt Away...in just 10 minutes."
- “Reduce stress, anxiety and depression”
- “Take back control of your life”
- “Enhance ambition, motivation, and libido”
- “Decrease performance anxiety”
- “Gabatrol is the only 100% all natural product that effectively gives you fast relief from the feelings of STRESS, ANXIETY, and DEPRESSION.”
- “Gabatrol is healthy and safe, so you get fast relief without the worries you may find with prescription medications and their unwanted side effects”
- “Gabatrol ingredients are healthy and safe and have the safest FDA classification, known as “GRAS” (Generally Regarded As Safe).”
- “Gabatrol works quickly”
- “Feel Gabatrol lift away all your tension, anxiety & stress while uplifting your mood”
- “You can feel Gabatrol work - immediately! Most users report feeling the anti-anxiety effects in as little as 10-20 minutes.”
- “real mood enhancement, stress and anti anxiety relief, with improved health, all in one all natural product!”
- “Gabatrol increases energy and motivation making it a great product to take prior to exercise.”
The advertiser explained that Gabatrol is composed of individual ingredients that include Taurine, Glycine, Phenibut, and Inositol, all proven to provide benefits by reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
The advertiser stated that Gabatrol’s ingredients have been clinically proven to work specifically on the Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter in the brain. Further, the advertiser stated that, although Gabatrol itself has not been clinically tested, the ingredients themselves have been studied extensively, and have shown pharmacological effects on brain chemistry, including the claims made on the Gabatrol website.
Following its review of the supporting evidence provided by the advertiser, NAD determined that the claims at issue imply that Gabatrol provides relief from the conditions described. NAD noted that the advertising does not disclose that the support relied upon is based on animal studies on the ingredients.
In addition to the claims of stress, anxiety and depression reduction, the advertising also claims that Gabatrol “Enhances ambition, motivation, and libido,” and “Decreases performance anxiety.” NAD found these claims to be specific performance claims, and found no support for them in the record. Accordingly, NAD recommended that these claims be discontinued.
NAD found that overall, the advertiser must discontinue all of its performance claims as currently written. The advertising must be extensively modified to make it clear that all claims being made are based on animal studies conducted on the specific ingredients, not the product itself and that the ingredients may not perform the same way in humans.
NAD also recommended that the advertiser discontinue all speed-of-action claims, as there was no support for such claims. Similarly, because there was no evidence that Gabatrol is the only product of its type, NAD recommended that the advertiser’s exclusivity claim be discontinued.
In addition, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue all claims that Gabatrol “enhances ambition, motivation, and libido” and “decreases performance anxiety,” as there was no evidence in the record to support them.
Finally, NAD found that since the ingredients in Gabatrol are listed on the Food and Drug Administration list of ingredients “generally regarded as safe,” the advertiser can continue to make such a claim.
The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said while “we disagree with some of the NAD’s conclusion regarding these statements, we do understand the rationale of their conclusions.
“We agree to take NAD’s recommendations into account in future advertising, and will make changes to the current Website in order to reflect the NAD’s conclusions.”
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.