HEALTH

CRN launches collaborative program to educate consumers on dietary supplements

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Council for Responsible Nutrition, creators of the consumer-wellness public relations campaign, “Life…supplemented,” on Thursday announced plans for the third consecutive year of the program upon meeting a budget goal of $1 million. The three-year, $3-million initiative encourages responsible use of dietary supplements in combination with other healthy habits, and urges consumers to assess their level of wellness by focusing on the three pillars of health: healthy diet, supplements and exercise.

“This is a collaborative program that demonstrates what an industry can do when companies work together to educate consumers who are looking for ways to take simple steps to improve their health,” stated CRN chairman Mark LeDoux. “I commend CRN for its ongoing leadership and especially thank those companies funding the program for their continued support. This program demonstrates that the industry has a commitment to urging consumers to take dietary supplements responsibly as one piece of a healthy lifestyle.”

Over the three-year campaign, 39 companies have financially supported the effort, with 25 funding companies currently signed on to support year three, including its five original Steering Committee members — NBTY, Pharmavite, Bayer HealthCare, BASF Corporation and DSM Nutritional Products.

This year, a sixth company, Wyeth Consumer Health, has increased its commitment to the Steering Committee level.

“The fact that companies continue to support ‘Life…supplemented’ year after year — particularly in this economic climate — shows that this is a sustainable campaign with responsible messages that companies can feel proud to support,” stated Judy Blatman, SVP communications, CRN, who oversees the program.

This announcement also marks the first major project coming out of the CRN Foundation, an educational affiliate of CRN. The Foundation was established earlier this year and will become the center of many of CRN’s educational activities and research projects supporting the supplement industry.

As part of the research sponsored by the “Life…Supplemented” campaign, a third annual “Life…supplemented” Healthcare Professionals Impact Study, which explores healthcare professionals’ recommendations for, and personal usage of, dietary supplements, will be supported.

This year’s study will look at registered dietitians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists. In previous years’ surveys, the campaign focused on U.S. physicians, nurses, OB/GYNs, cardiologists, dermatologists and orthopaedic specialists.

The campaign will also continue enhancements to its web site, http://lifesupplemented.org/, with emphasis on its free, interactive online tool, My Wellness Scorecard, a tool that provides consumers with a personalized wellness assessment.

The “Life…supplemented” campaign was recently awarded an honorable mention in the issue-specific web site category of the American Society of Association Executives’ 2009 Gold Circle Awards, an annual program recognizing excellence in communications. This marks the fourth award honoring the campaign, including a 2007-2008 Mercury Award win for “Web site: Health Awareness”.

“Supplement companies want to educate and celebrate the more than 150 million Americans who take their products each year; that is evident from the level of support from our funding companies and their enthusiasm for continuing the campaign,” said Judy Blatman, SVP communications for Council for Responsible Nutrition.

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The Preval Group showcasing two new products

BY Michael Johnsen

PORTLAND, Maine The Preval Group is currently showcasing two new products for the retail channel — Wrecking Balm Tattoo Fade System and Quietus, a homeopathic remedy for symptoms of tinnitus.

With the tattoo fading system Wrecking Balm, available as a direct-to-consumer brand since 2006 and more recently through specialty channels (tattoo parlors), there is the potential for a new category in the drug channel. The product contains DemoMatic, approved as a Class I device by the Food and Drug Administration, and a Suffusion gel that helps exfoliate the upper layers of the skin, among other ingredients.

Current retail packaging contains between a one to two month supply of the product, but takes on average between six and eight months to fully fade the tattoo, which means return business.

Approximately 40 million Americans already have tattoos, the Preval Group, and citing the American Society of Dermatological Surgery, half of them consider removing permanent body art like tattoos at some point in their lives.

Quietus offers symptomatic relief to the symptoms of tinnitus, a ringing in the ears associated with exposure to loud noise that about 1-in-6 Americans experience in their lifetime. At greater risk to tinnitus are carpentry and construction workers, airport workers, gun enthusiasts and hunters, machine operators and night club workers and musicians.

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NAD: Bayer Healthcare ad claims for Aleve are supported

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Thursday determined that Bayer Healthcare can substantiate claims made in packaging, television, print and Internet advertising for Aleve and Aleve Liquid Gels products.

Claims at issue included:

  • “minimum daily dosing” and “minimum label dosing”;
  • “all day pain-free movement” and “stop pain all day”; and
  • “Only two Aleve can stop pain all day” and “that would take twice as many Advil.”

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed the claims at issue, following a challenge by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, manufacturer of Advil, a competing analgesic.

Wyeth also challenged a pill-count comparison graph that two Aleve caplets stacked next to four Advil caplets, with the claim “Just 2 Aleve = 4 Advil.”

 NAD noted in its decision that Bayer has, since at least 2002, made a pill-count comparison in its advertising, including the recent claim that two Aleve capsules equal four Advil capsules. The advertiser maintained, and NAD accepted, that the pill count comparison is based on the respective FDA-approved labels for Aleve and Advil.

Consistent with past decisions, NAD accepted product labels, approved by the Food and Drug Administration as reasonable support for the durational capacity of Aleve and Advil.

NAD determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for its “pain-free” claim, based on its FDA-approved label. Further, NAD determined that it was unlikely that consumers who use over-the-counter analgesics would expect to experience a complete absence of any pain.  The NAD also found that the advertiser established a reasonable basis for its value calculator, based on a minimum daily dose of two Aleve pills versus four Advil tablets.

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