NEW YORK The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that certain claims made by Bayer HealthCare for its Vital and Sharp Mind dietary supplement are adequately substantiated, the division announced Monday.
However, NAD has recommended that the company modify or discontinue certain claims.
At the outset, Bayer noted that a key ingredient of the product, ginkgo biloba, promotes memory, concentration and mental acuity and presented several studies conducted on the use of ginkgo biloba extract for memory and concentration, in both Alzheimer’s patients and healthy aging populations. The advertiser also presented evidence related to Docosahexaenoic acid and brain function and B vitamins and mental energy.
Following its review of the studies entered into the record and the information provided by the advertiser, NAD determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for a general claim that Vital & Sharp Mind “supports memory, mental sharpness, and healthy brain function.” NAD also determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for its claims that the product helps to “Maximize Your Vitality,” “[p]romote Memory, Concentration, and Mental Sharpness,” and “keep your mind vital and active.” Further, NAD found that the advertiser supported its claim that the product “contains Omega-3 to support healthy brain function.”
NAD determined, however, that the evidence in the record did not support the television commercial’s claim that Vital and Sharp Mind can assist healthy adults in recalling a list of items that was recited moments earlier. Such performance claims require a different, and more exacting, level of support as compared with a claim that the product “supports” memory, NAD determined.
NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim and avoid making similar claims in future advertising for the product. Finally, NAD determined that Bayer’s evidence was not sufficient to support its claim that B vitamins “support mental energy.” NAD therefore recommended that the B vitamins claim be either discontinued or modified by limiting the claim to the B vitamins’ role in the metabolic process.
The company, in its advertiser’s statement, took issue with NAD’s decision, noting that it disagrees with NAD’s characterization and analysis of the evidence on ginkgo biloba and memory as illustrated by the television ad.
In addition, the company contended that NAD erred in its evaluation of evidence related to B vitamins and mental energy.
The company noted, however, that the advertising at issue has completed its run and that the company will “take NAD’s concerns into account in any future advertising for this product.”