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CRN addresses deceptive ads for weight loss products during Senate hearing

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association serving the dietary supplement industry, testified during a Senate hearing in an effort to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to combat deceptive advertising of weight-loss products.

CRN testified before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance. The hearing was titled, "Protecting Consumers from False and Deceptive Advertising of Weight-Loss Products."

In his remarks, Steve Mister, president and CEO of CRN, addressed the current weight-loss market as part of the ongoing tale of two industries with "legitimate manufacturers who responsibly produce products that work and make claims for their products within the bounds of the law, and unscrupulous players who prey on consumer desperation and the insatiable desire to be thin, and will say almost anything to make a quick profit."

Acknowledging weight management as a critical issue in the United States, Mister pointed to the fact that there are dietary supplements that can serve as helpful weight-loss tools when used in combination with other healthy habits. He emphasized that, in their pursuit to achieve a healthy weight, consumers deserve to receive "truthful, accurate and non-misleading information on dietary supplements and nutritional products."  

Mister presented CRN’s industry-wide program with the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ National Advertising Division, which helps self-police the advertising claims of dietary supplement marketers, as an example of CRN’s commitment to prevent dietary supplement marketers from making fraudulent claims. Part of the solution to deceptive advertising of weight-loss products is "expanding and strengthening self-policing programs among manufacturers and marketers within the industry," like the NAD initiative, according to Mister.

However, in addition to expanding self-regulatory programs, Mister emphasized that more must be done to protect consumers, "who unrealistically yearn for a magic bullet," including increasing resources and enforcement by both the FTC and FDA; calling on the media and online retailers to conduct advertising clearance and reject those with illegal claims; and educating consumers on how to have realistic expectations for weight loss and protect themselves from weight-loss claims that are too good to be true.

 

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Core-Mark announces new business relationship with Rite Aid

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Core-Mark Holding Co. has entered into a new business relationship with Rite Aid to distribute frozen, refrigerated and fresh food to Rite Aid stores. Core-Mark currently is providing service to approximately 800 Rite Aid stores on the West coast.

"Over the last few years, the Core-Mark team has focused on expanding and strengthening our distribution capabilities and core strategies to better serve its existing clients and attract new customers," stated Tom Perkins, Core-Mark CEO. "Core-Mark is proud to have been chosen by Rite Aid, one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains, and we look forward to working with Rite Aid to provide high-quality, food service distribution services to its stores and customers."

 

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NACDS, The Partnering Group study joint business planning in new report

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Retail Advisory Board and global strategy firm the Partnering Group have released a report to help retailers and suppliers establish joint business plans to align and optimize shared business goals.  

The report, "Creating Value Together," identifies 10 key industry findings to help companies establish strong joint business plans with their trading partners. Joint business planning is a collaborative process between a retailer and/or distributor and a manufacturer and/or supplier in which both parties align on short- and long-term financial goals for their shared business.

“According to the findings in this report, one of the biggest challenges is the amount of time it takes to complete a joint business plan with a trading partner,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “The NACDS Retail Advisory Board has been actively engaged in overcoming that hurdle. Working with NACDS member companies and with the Partnering Group, ‘Creating Value Together’ explores methods to help simplify the process and allow trading partners to expand the number of companies with which they conduct JBPs. We are pleased to share the report’s results with the industry today.”

The NACDS Retail Advisory Board makes recommendations to the NACDS Board of Directors on front-end issues, and helps to shape NACDS’ member programs and services.

“Joint business planning should be looked at as both a business strategy and a business process,” stated Peter Leech, managing director of the Partnering Group. “These properly executed plans create incremental value in a relationship between trading partners. This process is not in lieu of a category plan, it is much more.”

The report also identifies the leading characteristics of joint business plans, methods and tools to maximize business outcomes, and recommendations for driving maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

The executive summary and full report are available on the NACDS website. In addition, a tool kit is available, providing templates, workbooks and other resources to help companies get started and manage the development of their joint business plans.   

 

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