HEALTH

NAD recommends halt of Claritin ‘RediTabs’ broadcast ads

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Monday recommended that Schering-Plough, maker of the over-the-counter allergy medication Claritin “RediTabs,” discontinue broadcast advertising that features high-speed raceway images.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined broadcast advertising for the product following a challenge by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the maker of competing OTC allergy medications Benadryl and Zyrtec.

NAD considered whether the race car imagery and narration in the commercial imply that Claritin RediTabs OTC provides the fastest relief of allergy symptoms.

The challenged advertising features NASCAR racecars running a track as Carl Edwards, a well-known NASCAR driver, appears and explains that “speed is important” to him and that when his allergies hit, he uses Claritin RediTabs, “the fastest dissolving allergy medicine.”  A statement that “Speed of dissolution does not imply speed of relief” appears simultaneously on the screen.

Following its review of the evidence, including a consumer perception survey provided by the challenger, NAD determined one reasonable takeaway from the commercial is that RediTabs provides very fast or instantaneous relief of allergy symptoms in comparison to competing allergy medicines. Further, NAD determined that the disclosure “Speed of dissolution does not imply speed of relief” contradicted, rather than limited, the main message of very fast or instantaneous allergy relief.

NAD recommended that the commercial be permanently discontinued and that future advertising avoid imagery and claims that imply that Claritin RediTabs provide very fast or instantaneous allergy relief.

Schering-Plough, in its advertiser’s statement, said it that while the company did not intend to convey a claim of instant relief, it “greatly respects NAD and the NAD process and will take this decision into account in crafting its future advertisements.”

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Duane Reade sells topical pain reliever, marks first entry in U.S. market

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK According to a recent survey of New York office workers commissioned by Haw Par Healthcare, makers of Tiger Balm, 61% are feeling more stress than before the economic crisis began and 43% are working more than they did a year ago.

In addition, six-in-10 of those surveyed report spending six or more hours a day at their desk, and more than half 53% say that this time at work causes stress and physical pain, particularly in the neck and shoulders.

The survey also found that at the same time that stress and stress-related pain is increasing, more than half of residents report cutting down on “self-pampering” indulgences, such as massages, hair maintenance and manicures, while looking for more affordable alternatives to manage and relieve their stress-related pain.

In response to these trends, Duane Reade stores throughout New York area are selling Tiger Balm Neck & Shoulder Rub, a topical pain reliever that provides a “massage on-the-go.” This is the product’s first entry into the U.S. market, Haw Par announced.

“Since New York is the home of the nation’s financial center, it’s not surprising that almost three quarters of New Yorkers surveyed believe that they are feeling it worse than everybody else,” stated Ak Han, director and general manager of Haw Par. “We’re pleased to help New Yorkers manage their stress and relieve their pain by launching a new neck and shoulder pain version of Tiger Balm. People suffering from neck and shoulder pains may think that there is nothing they can do about it. Whether it be during times of economic crisis or during the normal day-to-day grind, we’re glad to provide new, effective, pain relief, so that people will not have to suffer in silence.”

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Local American Red Cross to offer free pandemic flu seminar

BY Michael Johnsen

CLEVELAND In response to the Swine Flu Medical Emergency, the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland will offer a free pandemic flu planning seminar from 8 to 10 a.m. this Thursday, April 30, at its headquarters at 3747 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland for businesses and community-based organizations.

A grant from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is funding the Red Cross in educating businesses and community-based organizations about preparing for a pandemic flu event to help aid business sustainability. This special program is being piloted in 18 cities nationwide.

In the free seminar, participants will learn about free resources available should they choose to participate in the pilot program.

The American Red Cross will also offer for sale two important products that will help people resist the spread of Swine Flu. Germ Guard Personal Protection Packs contains supplies that effectively minimize exposure to airborne particles and germs. The 15-piece pack contains an N95 mask, alcohol cleaning wipes, vinyl gloves, sanitizing gel and a tissue pack. This pack retails for $9.95 plus tax.

A larger kit, which contains twice the supplies, retails for $13.95 plus tax. Both products will be available for sale at the seminar.

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