HEALTH

GSK launches Tums marketing initiative

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare on Monday launched a $20 million integrated marketing campaign for the new Tums QuikPak, an instant-antacid powder.

The QuikPak campaign, part of a larger new “Bring It On” brand strategy designed to re-energize the classic Tums brand with fresh imagery and broader appeal, features the classic animated series, “The Jetsons.”

“In this campaign, two icons—Tumsand the Jetsons—meet to tell the story about a fast and convenient heartburn medicine getting even faster with new Tums QuikPak,” stated Sydney Rollock, GSK Consumer Healthcare vice president of health and wellness.”

In a 30-second spot airing on national network and cable television beginning April 21, George Jetson suffers heartburn after enjoying a chili dog with the works, and calls out for his wife. Before she can get to him, though, Rosie the Robot opens his mouth, pours in a dose from a packet of Tums QuikPak, and he experiences fast relief. The spot closes with the family dog, Astro, singing to the tune of the classic Tums jingle.

The Tums “Bring It On” brand strategy succeeds the Tums”Diner” brand campaign, which ran for more than 30 years. According to Rollock, it was time for Tums advertising to evolve along with the product innovation.

“With the introduction of TUMS QuikPak our goal was to create advertising more representative of the brand’s iconic nature,” he said.

Tums QuikPak, an antacid in a convenient powder form, is the first of its kind in the over-the-counter heartburn treatment category, the company stated. It dissolves instantly on the tongue without water and neutralizes acid on contact. It comes in a Berry Fusion flavor, and like the original Tums formulation, also has the added benefit of being a daily source of extra calcium. It is available nationwide in boxes containing 24 individual dose packets at most drug, grocery and mass merchandise retailers. Each easy-open packet delivers 1,000 mg of calcium carbonate.

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CRN to publish risk assessment of amino acids

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Thursday announced that its risk assessments on the safe upper-intake levels for the amino acids taurine, glutamine and arginine used in dietary supplements will be published in the April issue of the peer-reviewed journal Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. “Over the last decade the prevalence of amino acids within sports nutrition supplements and ‘energy-boosting’ functional foods and beverages has significantly increased,” stated Andrew Shao, CRN vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs and co-author of the paper. “We chose to assess the safety of taurine, glutamine and arginine because they are among the most widely used and studied of the supplemental amino acids.”

CRN concluded that the absence of adverse effects is strong for taurine at up to a dose of 3 g per day; for glutamine, at up to 14 g per day; and for aginine, at up to 20 g per day.

“CRN is dedicated to helping ingredient manufactures deliver the safest products possible to consumers, and risk assessments are the best indicators we have to establish upper limits,” stated John Hathcock, senior vice president of scientific and international affairs and also co-author. “These risk assessments … represent the first time upper-intake levels have been identified for amino acids.  …  It is important that we don’t allow for a non-scientific approach, such as the use of a random multiple of the recommended daily allowance.”

The upper levels do not suggest that supplements taken above the level identified are unsafe, nor do they constitute a recommended intake, the authors cautioned. They merely identify the highest quantitative level at which there is no known toxicity, ensuring that science is the deciding factor when it comes to setting and enforcing regulatory guidelines for ingredients used in dietary supplements. 

This is the eighth in a series of risk assessments completed by CRN scientists.  Previous risk assessments on vitamins C and E were published in 2005 and on vitamin D in 2007 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  Risk assessments on nonessential nutrients including coenzyme Q10, lutein and lycopene, creatine, carnitine, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate were published in 2006 and 2007 in the journal Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology.

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Twinlab Fuel announces support for Ranger 2008 competition

BY Michael Johnsen

AMERICAN FORK, Utah Twinlab Fuel, a division of supplement manufacturer ISI Brands, announced Friday its support of the Best Ranger Competition 2008, the 25th anniversary of the competition that recognizes the best two-man “buddy” team in United States Armed Forces.

“We have incredible respect for the men and women in the Armed Forces and are looking forward to being part of this proud tradition,” stated Mark Fox, president of ISI Brands. The endurance event kicked off Friday and ends Sunday.

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