NAD reviews Exergen's ad claims for temporal thermometers

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Thursday recommended that Exergen modify superior performance claims for its temporal thermometers as compared with tympanic (in-the-ear) readings.

The NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed print and Internet advertising claims made by Exergen following a challenge by Kaz USA, the maker of Braun ear thermometers. Exergen explained to the NAD that temporal thermometry is the newest form of noninvasive temperature measurement, measuring temperature on the skin’s surface of the temporal artery when it is swept across the forehead. The advertiser asserted that the technology has been widely recognized as accurate.

The NAD noted in its decision that many of the studies, which relied upon by the advertiser to support its claims, failed to test the most recent generation of ear thermometry and compared temporal artery thermometers to oral, rectal or other thermometers. While such studies might support other performance claims for the advertiser’s temporal thermometer, they are insufficient to provide direct support for the advertiser’s superior accuracy claims regarding ear thermometers, the NAD said.

The NAD recommended that Exergen modify its claims to clearly and conspicuously disclose that the comparison being made is with cold-tip ear thermometry, since Kaz markets a tympanic thermometer featuring a patented pre-warmed tip.

Exergen, in its advertiser’s statement, said that it disagrees “with [the] NAD that there is any need to modify our superiority claims. However, in the spirit of cooperation with the self-regulatory process, we will take [the] NAD's recommendations into account in future advertising.”

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