Following a challenge brought before the National Advertising Division ("NAD"), Goodnighties, Inc. has agreed to discontinue certain claims regarding its Goodnighties sleepwear. Goodnighties claimed the ionized fibers used in its IonX fabric sleepwear products were clinically proven to neutralize stress, stimulate blood flow, reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, speed recovery, reduce muscle aches and pains, provide a more restful sleep, and relieve symptoms of Fibromyalgia, night sweats, and hot flashes. Goodnighties further claimed the sleepwear mimicked the benefits experienced by professional athletes who have worn IonX fabric to help restore strained muscles. The NAD found the substantiation submitted by the advertiser failed to support such claims. First, the subject population for the studies provided did not match the target audience of the product – the studies tested male athletes in their early twenties engaging in physical exercise, while the advertising was aimed at middle-aged menopausal women and purported to provide benefits during sleep. Other evidence submitted by the advertiser examined negative ion treatment of air, but failed to establish a correlation between the claimed benefits and the wearing of similarly treated fabric. And yet another study relied upon by the advertiser had methodological issues, including a small sample size and limited preliminary results.
Tip: Advertisers must possess competent and reliable scientific evidence to support claims that a product is clinically proven to provide health benefits. When making claims directed to a particular population, the subjects of the testing relied upon to support such claims should mirror the targeted population and product use.