The NAD recently reviewed several claims being made by Chattem, Inc. for its Allegra allergy medication, including the claim: "Before Allegra, my allergy medicine made me drowsy. After Allegra, I'm up and alert." The NAD determined that one of the messages consumers could reasonably take away from this statement (in the context of the commercial) is that Allegra has "a stimulating effect." The NAD further determined that this claim was not substantiated by the evidence in the record and recommended Chattem modify the claim. The NAD also considered the speed of action claim: "Before Allegra, I had to wait hours for my medicine to kick in. After Allegra, I'm good to go." The NAD recommended that Chattem qualify its speed of action claims to disclose that the product begins working at hour one. It also recommended Chattem clearly and conspicuously disclose that Allegra's "fast" relief compared to competitors only applies to the first dose. Finally, in evaluating the performance claim, "proven effective even at 8x high pollen levels," the NAD determined Chattem's studies adequately substantiated the claim and the claim touted a meaningful benefit to consumers. The NAD cautioned that superiority claims used to differentiate a product from competitors should convey benefits meaningful to consumers; otherwise such comparisons are trivial and misleading.
TIP: All claims which may be reasonably conveyed to consumers in advertising, considering the context of the advertising as a whole, must be adequately substantiated, even if the advertiser does not intend to convey those claims. Additionally, performance claims should only tout benefits that are meaningful to consumers.