NEW YORK — Earlier this week the National Advertising Division recommended that Bausch + Lomb modify or discontinue certain claims made in an advertorial context that refer to Alcon Laboratories' Opti-Free RepleniSH contact lens solution.
The advertorial, challenged by Alcon, alerted eye care practitioners to an increase in reports of infiltrative keratitis, a condition that can affect the vision and comfort of contact lens wearers. Titled “Infiltrative Keratitis and Gram-Negative Bacterial Resistance to PQ-Aldox Lens Care Products,” the advertorial suggested “contact lens associated infiltrative keratitis has been reported at higher rates in particular with polyquaternium (PQ)-Aldox (myristamidopropyl dimethylamine) based multi-purpose solutions.”
In this case, NAD determined that the challenged advertorial conveyed the messages that consumers who wear silicone hydrogel lenses and use Opti-Free RepleniSH are substantially more likely to experience, or are at a greater risk for, keratitis than other contact lens solutions; and that eye care practitioners should switch their patients to the advertiser’s Biotrue solution which has been shown to reduce their patients’ risk for keratitis.
NAD determined that the advertiser’s evidence did not support any of these messages. NAD recommended that B+L modify its advertorial.
B+L, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while the company respectfully disagrees with NAD’s findings concerning the net impressions of the advertorial, it “appreciates NAD’s recommendations on how to avoid any future confusion about the intended message. Bausch + Lomb will seek ways in which to incorporate this helpful guidance in any future advertising or promotional communications about this emerging field of study.”