HEALTH

NAD refers Brain Research Labs to FTC

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division has referred to the Federal Trade Commission advertising claims made by Brain Research Labs, for Procera AVH, following the company’s failure to abide by the terms of an NAD decision.

In an underlying 2009 decision, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue a wide range of claims and testimonials for Procera AVH, including the unqualified claim that Procera AVH was “clinically shown to restore the memory and brain power you had 10-15 years ago" and claims that the product is “fast-acting.”

NAD also determined that a key ingredient in the product, vinpocetine, had not been demonstrated to provide increased oxygen delivery, uptake and utilization by the brain. NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue such claims.

NAD contacted the advertiser when it learned that the company was again making claims similar to those it agreed to discontinue in 2009.

The advertiser, in response, agreed to discontinue all the challenged claims except for the claim that Procera AVH has “vinpocetine, a substance that helps deliver increased oxygen and glucose to your brain.”

The advertiser asserted that a more recently conducted study supports the claim. However, an advertiser in an NAD proceeding may not, absent extraordinary circumstances, submit new evidence after the fact as support for claims that were the subject of an earlier proceeding.

Based on the advertiser’s actions, NAD has referred the matter to the Federal Trade Commission for further review.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

 

 

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UrgentRx launches provocative Twitter campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

DENVER — UrgentRx on Thursday began asking America where they would #WhipItOut with the launch of a provocative new campaign. The initiative is aimed at educating consumers during Heart Health Month by raising awareness around the potentially life-saving role that 325mg of aspirin plays for heart attack victims.

“Most people are unaware of the fact that the simple act of taking a 325mg dose of aspirin at the first symptoms can increase the chance of survival during a heart attack by 23%,” Jordan Eisenberg, president UrgentRx, said. “Critical Care Aspirin is a vital tool that everyone should be prepared to whip out to save a life anywhere, anytime.”

UrgentRx Critical Care Aspirin is a credit card-sized, single dose of fast-acting, flavored powder aspirin.

UrgentRx will leverage consumers’ willingness to #WhipItOut to donate up to $10,000 to the American Heart Association. Throughout the month of February, every time a consumer uses the hashtag #WhipItOut on Twitter or visits www.whipitouturx.com and takes the pledge to be "prepared over scared" when it comes to heart attack awareness, UrgentRx will donate $1 to the American Heart Association.

“With #WhipItOut, we’ve created a provocative campaign that we hope will help capture consumer attention and educate the public about what simple steps are available to help increase the odds of surviving a heart attack,” Eisenberg said.

 

 

 

 

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Novartis Consumer Health’s return to shelf on track, Theraflu relaunching next

BY Michael Johnsen

BASEL, Switzerland — Novartis Consumer Health will be relaunching Theraflu for the 2014-2015 cough-cold season, Brian McNamara, Novartis division head OTC, told analysts Wednesday. 

"As you know, in the U.S. business we launched Lamisil and Triaminic and Excedrin end of 2012 and 2013. About halfway through the year, we launched Benefiber. And for next year, we expect to launch Theraflu for that cough and cold season," he said. 

Overall, Novartis’ consumer business is doing well. The Consumer Health division, which includes Animal Health, posted $1 billion in net sales for the company’s fourth quarter, representing 8% growth. Results were mainly driven by strong performance of key brands globally and product re-launches in the U.S., the company reported. 

"We also made good progress on our quality agenda. As we’ve talked about before, we put a significant amount of attention up against this, and it paid off in 2013," noted Joseph Jimenez, Novartis CEO. "We had a good FDA inspection at Lincoln," he said. "This is our OTC site that was in trouble. We got a good audit by the FDA and we’re now shipping product out of that site. Two of the three Sandoz sites that were under a warning letter, the original warning letter, are now compliant based on the FDA inspections, and we’re waiting for feedback on the third site in Wilson."

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