HEALTH

NAD seeks FTC, FDA to review Okappa Slim ads

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Thursday referred advertising for Okappa Slim weight-loss supplement to the Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration for further review after the company declined to participate in an NAD review of its advertising claims.

As a part of its ongoing monitoring program, and in conjunction with an initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition to expand the review of advertising claims for dietary supplements, NAD inquired about certain print and Internet advertisements Direct Marketing Clearinghouse had made.

Claims at issue, including claims that appeared in a large two-page color spread advertisement in Body + Soul Magazine, included: 

  • Here’s how I lost 33 lbs. in little more than 1 month without exercise and I ate whatever I wanted!;
  • She told me she had lost 33 lbs. in just under a month. She didn’t have to follow a diet and really didn’t have to do anything in particular. 
  • All she did was take her plant extract capsules every day for one month. That’s all.;
  • All I had to do was to take one capsule a day. That’s all!  No effort, or diet restrictions. And after just 3 days, I had already lost 7 lbs.!; and
  • A group of researchers have succeeded, after numerous tests carried out in laboratories and after years of study, to find the perfect combination of plants that reverse the effect of calories.  Instead of transforming calories into fat, this blend makes sure that it’s being burned naturally and transformed into energy, eliminating the calories. The combination of plants is known as the Okappa Slimming treatment and causes the fastest loss of weight ever seen with a 100% natural treatment. In fact, in nearly every case we have seen and in our studies, we have found weight losses of up to 14 lbs. in a week. The average loss of weight has been about 7 lbs. per week.

The advertiser, represented by Direct Marketing, stated that it would not participate in NAD’s inquiry. NAD noted that it was disappointed by the advertiser’s position, particularly in light of the strong health and weight loss claims at issue.

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Barba takes on VP finance and accounting role at Matrixx

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. Matrixx Initiatives on Wednesday named William Barba VP finance and accounting and treasurer effective May 6.

Barba served as the company’s treasurer and director of planning since July 2007. He joined the company in February 2004 in a finance and investor relations role.

Prior to joining Matrixx, Barba held a variety of financial management positions with Mesa Air Group, Honeywell Intellectual Properties, Avnet and MicroAge.

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NAD recommends InflameAway Celadrin ad claims be discontinued

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Wednesday recommended that Imagenetix discontinue certain advertising claims made for the dietary supplement InflameAway Celadrin following a challenge by Schiff Nutrition Group. InflameAway executives countered that they did not agree with the decision, but agreed to abide by NAD’s suggestions.

Imagenetix, at the outset of the NAD review, informed the bureau that the company had been revising its marketing campaign prior to the NAD challenge and had discontinued all of its comparative claims versus glucosamine/chondroitin (and other joint health products), as well as its claim that Celadrin has been “proven to work.”

NAD advised Imagenetix to also discontinue the claim that Celadrin is “clinically tested and shown to be effective for improving joint comfort” as the evidence in the record was inconsistent and insufficient to support a claim that either Celadrin, or its active ingredient, cetylated fatty acid, had been proven effective through clinical trial.

Further, NAD noted, while the patent on the ingredient is evidence of its novelty, the patent alone cannot support a “clinically shown” claim. NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim.

NAD also found that the claim that “patented InflameAway Celadrin is a medical breakthrough,” was not supported by the research on Celadrin or by the patent on the key ingredient in Celadrin and recommended that it be discontinued.

InflameAway, in its advertiser’s statement, said it is “extremely disappointed that the unrebutted opinions of two highly qualified scientific experts have been rejected in favor of the non-scientific judgment made by NAD counsel.”

However, in the spirit of cooperation, the company said it “has and will continue to voluntarily discontinue the use of all NAD challenged claims in its national advertising.”

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