The advertising industry’s self-regulation system, administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, has found fault with marketing claims for a number of products, including tinted moisturizer, a homeopathic skin tag removal drug and a dietary supplement used as a sleep remedy. According to recent Advertising Self-Regulation Council (ASRC) news releases, the National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that Gurwitch Products LLC modify the disclosure on its “Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer” product, asserting that it is “The #1 selling Tinted Moisturizer,” to clarify that the claim is based on sales data from “better” department stores and online retailers. While Gurwitch indicated disappointment with NAD’s findings, believing that its reference to the “prestige retail” category provided a sufficient disclosure, the company said it would take NAD’s recommendations into consideration.
Meanwhile, NAD called for Meda Consumer Healthcare, Inc. to discontinue certain claims for its sleep-aid dietary supplement—“MidNite PM”—finding them insufficiently substantiated, but concluding that other claims could remain. NAD recommended that the company discontinue: (i) “[t]he only one you can take before bed or in the middle of the night. . .,” (ii) “The Only One You Can Take Any Time of Night To Relieve Occasional Pain, Help You Sleep & Wake Alert,” and (iii) “The only one you can take when pain keeps you up or wakes you in the night.” The company will apparently appeal NAD’s recommendation to the National Advertising Review Board.
The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ESRP), another part of the self-regulatory system, reportedly recommended that Plymouth Direct quit using certain of its performance and establishment claims for its Tag Away products, “a homeopathic skin tag removal drug.” While ESRP concluded that the company could support its “all natural” and safety claims, it took issue with broadcast and online ads that said the product was “clinically proven to remove skin tags” and that it would “work in 3-8 weeks.” According to ESRP, Plymouth Direct should modify its advertising “to clearly communicate to consumers that the evidentiary basis for its product performance claims are a historical and traditional use of the active ingredient, Thuja occidentalis.” The company disagreed with ESRP, but said it would make “minor modifications to its advertising language.” See ASRC News Releases, June 18 and 19, 2013.