Dietary supplement marketers taken to task over ads

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ftc Advertising Marketing

Three dietary supplement marketers failed to run required "paid
advertising" disclosures immediately before product-ordering
instructions, alleges the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Despite an order from FTC two years ago, the marketers failed to include clear, audible, and properly placed disclosures that the programs actually were paid advertisements, reads a statement from the federal agency. The case is a further demonstration of FTC's conviction to at least appear to be going after false marketing in the nutraceutical category. By allegedly violating the original order, FTC has entered a new court order against Great American Products, Inc., Physician's Choice, Inc., and Stephen Karian that replaces the old one. "Despite the order's specific requirements on how to disclose that the programs were paid advertisements, the companies aired a number of television and radio infomercials that did not make the proper disclosures,"​ stated FTC. A statement from the FTC indicates that the new order imposes the three requirements: "The defendants must display a visual paid advertising disclosure continuously throughout the ordering instructions during television advertisements. "The defendants must broadcast a supplemental audio paid advertising disclosure simultaneously with the initial visual disclosure (in the first 30 seconds of the advertisement, for a period of at least 10 seconds), clearly and audibly, in a cadence sufficient for the ordinary consumer to hear and comprehend, and in a volume as loud or louder than the loudest statement in the advertisement. The audio paid advertising disclosure for a radio advertisement must be as loud or louder than the loudest statement in the advertisement, and the defendants must make the disclosure immediately prior to ordering instructions,"​ stated FTC. The news follows similar moves by FTC to regulate marketing of dietary supplements. In October of last year FTC launched complaints against seven online sellers of alternative hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products for not backing-up their health claims. The federal agency alleged the marketers of natural progesterone creams advertised their products without supporting scientific evidence to support their claims.

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