HEALTH

Prilosec OTC’s ‘Heartburn gone … power on’ tagline nixed by NAD

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Tuesday ruled that Procter & Gamble provided reasonable support for claims that Prilosec OTC provides “superior acid control” over a competing product, Prevacid 24HR. However, the NAD recommended P&G discontinue a comparative claim made in a context that doesn’t reference acid control, the review board added.

P&G’s Prilosec OTC claims were challenged by Novartis Consumer Health, maker of Prevacid 24HR. Claims at issue included:

  • In a head-to-head study Prilosec OTC had “superior acid control” over Prevacid 24HR;

  • Prilosec OTC provides “longer” and “superior acid control” over Prevacid 24HR;

  • Prilosec OTC provided some patients more than 2x longer acid control than Prevacid 15 mg (OTC);

  • Only 10% of Prevacid prescriptions are 15 mg, while Prilosec OTC contains the same medicine at the same dose as its leading Rx formulation; and

  • The implied claim that Prilosec OTC treats heartburn better than or offers superior heartburn relief to Prevacid 24HR.

The NAD determined that P&G provided a reasonable basis for claims that referenced “superior,” “longer” and “2x longer” acid control. The NAD further recommended that the advertiser clearly and conspicuously disclose the extent and limitations of its support for the claims.

The claim “only 10% of Prevacid prescriptions” are written at the 15-mg dose in Prevacid 24HR, while “Prilosec OTC contains the same medicine at the same dose as its leading Rx formulation,” appeared separately in a context that did not reference acid control. The claim was accompanied by the tagline “Heartburn gone … power on.”

NAD found that claim, in a comparative context that concerned the elimination of heartburn symptoms, could be understood to mean that Prilosec OTC is superior to Prevacid 24HR at relieving heartburn symptoms in frequent heartburn sufferers — a claim for which the advertiser provided no direct scientific evidence.

The NAD recommended that the claim be discontinued.

P&G, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while the company was disappointed that the NAD found fault with the claim in the context of the “Heartburn gone … power on” tagline, the company has agreed to comply with the NAD’s recommendation to discontinue the claim in the challenged context, and to take the NAD’s decision into account in future advertising.

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HEALTH

FRS taps Tim Tebow as spokesman

BY Michael Johnsen

FOSTER CITY, Calif. — The FRS Co., the manufacturer of FRS Healthy Energy products, on Tuesday named Denver Bronco first-round pick Tim Tebow to its FRS Healthy Energy team as its latest professional athlete spokesman.

"I am excited to officially be a part of the FRS team," Tebow said. "I use their products regularly and can honestly say that I believe FRS has helped me perform at my best on and off the field. I look forward to sharing my FRS story with fans and spreading the word on this amazing brand."

Tebow’s relationship with FRS will include appearing in the company’s marketing and advertising campaigns and acting as a brand ambassador within the professional, college and high school athletics community. FRS also is committed to work alongside Tebow and his charity, beginning immediately with a fundraiser at FRS.com in which FRS will donate 25% from the purchases of Tebow’s favorite FRS products to the Tim Tebow Foundation.

Tebow joins seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher, mountain climber Jordan Romero and a growing number of Americans who have adopted FRS to enhance their personal performance.

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Industry praises passage of Food Safety Modernization Act by House

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Food Safety Modernization Act by a vote of 215-144 to wide industry aplomb.

The bill now only needs President Barack Obama’s signature to become law.

If signed into law, the food safety bill will require biennial registration of all food manufacturing facilities, will provide the Food and Drug Administration with new authority to mandate food recalls and will require companies to develop food safety plans.

“Food retailers and wholesalers believe that given today’s global marketplace, it is critical to provide the FDA with the authority to recall products when necessary,” stated Food Marking Institute president and CEO Leslie Sarasin. “We also support the use of third-party certification programs and the requirement that every food manufacturer or producer develop and employ food safety plans.”

“The dietary supplement industry, which is regulated as a category of food under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, is committed to supporting efforts that ensure consumers have access to safe and high-quality dietary supplement products,” stated Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition. “CRN and its member companies have supported this bill because of the added enforcement tools it provides to [the] FDA and the extra protections it provides for consumers.”

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