NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
The claims at issue were challenged by the Council for Responsible Nutrition as part of an ongoing initiative to expand NAD’s review of advertising claims for dietary supplements.
CRN challenged express claims that included:
- “Formulated to help support little immune systems in the biggest way to help keep kids healthy and happy year-round.”
- “Wellmune. These beta glucans support immune health by helping to promote built-in cellular defense mechanisms.”
- “Elderberry. Respect your elders—this super food has been used for centuries to support the immune systems.”
- “Zinc. An essential mineral that helps keep immune cells functioning in tip-top shape.”
The challenged claims appeared on the advertiser’s website and on the side of the product packaging. The front of the product packaging, under the product name “Kids Mighty Immunity” lists in bold large print the ingredients (Wellmune, Acerola Cherry, Elderberry and Zinc) that comprise Kids Mighty Immunity.
The Kids Mighty Immune product packaging is red and orange with a similarly color-themed cartoon moose. The relevant portions of the website contain no other visuals besides a picture of the product packaging.
The advertiser maintained that the intended and reasonable take away message of its immunity claims is that the ingredients in Kids Mighty Immunity promote general wellness through the support of the immune system. As such, the advertiser supported its claims with ingredient studies for vitamin C, D, zinc and Wellmune beta glucan yeast. The advertiser further offered evidence regarding the traditional use of elderberries for general health and wellness.
NAD noted in its decision that “the net impression of the advertiser’s webpage and product packaging—from the language of the express claims, the list of ingredients on the front of the label, and the absence of other statements or imagery that imply that the product as a whole has been tested—reasonably conveys the accurate and truthful message that the advertiser’s claims are predicated on the supplement’s individual ingredients and not on clinical testing on the Kids Mighty Immunity product itself.”
Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD concluded that the evidence presented was sufficiently reliable to substantiate the advertiser’s claims.
The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said “Olly appreciates the opportunity to participate in, and will continue to strongly support, the self-regulatory process.”