Advertising watchdog backs sleep supplement ads

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Advertising, Medicinal plants, Nad

Sleep-promoting dietary supplements containing melatonine, L-Theanine, valerian, lemon balm, hops, chamomile and passion flower have been largely OK'd by the the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

NAD said while the company in question, Peak Life, LLC, had provided scientific backing for the ingredients rather than the product itself (Somnapure), this evidence, "provided a reasonable basis"​ for the claims.

"Overall, NAD found that the advertising is clear to tout the benefits of these ingredients in Somnapure, e.g., “Somnapure’s superior formula contains herbal ingredients such as Chamomile and Passionflower, which have a calming effect on the body… ,”​ it said.

The claims were being made in print advertising, on-label and on a website containing sponsored messaging - www.healthheadlines.com.

Modifications

While generally endorsing the claims, NAD requested that Peak Life alter the claims to better reflect the fact that the sleep supplement worked from regular use, rather than from a single pharma-style dose.

"NAD recommended that the advertiser modify its advertising to clearly convey the message that the claimed benefits of the ingredients in Somnapure were achieved from a regular, consistent program of supplementation with these ingredients,"​ NAD said.

It also said sponsored messages on www.healthheadlines.com needed to be made more transparent, despite certain disclosures by Peak Life such as, "HFM Marketing, LLC sponsors this website, and its parent company distributes Force Factor, Peak Life, and Stages of Beauty. Writers are compensated by HFM Marketing, LLC.”

But the NAD said the messaging needed to indicate it was in fact advertising.

"NAD found that the Peak Life fails to make clear that visitors to the site are viewing advertising, not third-party independently generated health news, and fails to adequately disclose that the site is owned and operated by the advertiser itself. NAD recommended that the advertiser take further steps to clearly and conspicuously disclose these material connections."

Peak Life said it would abide by the recommendations.

"We value and support industry self-regulation, and we welcome the NAD’s decision regarding advertising for the sleep-aid supplement Somnapure,” ​the company said.

Product claims included:

  • “Together, this scientifically formulated, intelligent blend of high quality ingredients is what makes Somnapure effective and non-habit forming. Somnapure’s sleep blend includes melatonin, L-Theanine, valerian extract, lemon balm, hops extract, chamomile flower and passion flower.”
  • “Wake up feeling refreshed, energetic and free of grogginess or negative side-effects.”

Related topics: Regulation

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