NEW YORK The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus last weeek recommended that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies modify or discontinue certain advertising claims made in print and Internet advertising and product packaging for its Aveeno Advanced Relief Cold Sore Tre atment.
The advertising claims were challenged by Wyeth Consumer HealthCare, makers of Chapstick Medicated Cold Sore Therapy and Anbesol Maximum Strength Pain Relief Cold Sore Therapy.
Wyeth asserted that the Aveeno product is being marketed as a cold sore/fever blister “advanced” treatment that has been “clinically proven effective” and “works to treat cold sores,” when, in fact, it contains only one active ingredient, a skin protectant that, “relieves dryness and softens crusts” associated with cold sores.
According to Wyeth’s challenge, Aveeno has no active ingredients that work to heal cold sores and is not “advanced” in any way beyond moisturizing.
Following its review of the advertising claims around Aveeno, NAD found that the evidence was insufficient to provide a reasonable basis for the advertiser’s “clinically proven effective” and “clinically proven way to treat cold sore symptoms up to 3 1/2 days faster” claims and recommended that they be discontinued.
NAD recommended also that the advertiser discontinue its use of phrases such as “Why spend even one more day with a cold sore?” as well as the side-by-side depiction of lips with cold sore and lips 3 1/2 days later, and any similar statements that convey an implied shortening of healing time or faster treatment message.
NAD did determine, however, that there was a reasonable basis existed for a more limited claim as to the fact that propolis may help to treat cold sore symptoms faster than placebo, and provides fast relief of cold sore symptoms.
Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, in its advertiser’s statement, stated the company is “very disappointed” and strongly disagrees with NAD’s decision “concerning the validity of the two clinical studies.”
However, the company noted, “we respect NAD’s self-regulatory process and will take NAD’s decision into account in any future advertising and will not be producing any additional inventory with the labeling at issue.”