BBB National Programs Archive

Arthri-D Says it Will Discontinue Challenged Testimonials; NAD Finds no Basis for Recommending Product Name Change

New York, NY – Aug. 20, 2015 – Arthri-D, LLC, maker of the dietary supplement “Arthri-D3,” has said it will permanently discontinue challenged testimonials and an endorsement for the product that appeared at the company’s website, on YouTube and in a one-minute video endorsement spot located on both its website and YouTube channels. The claims at issue were challenged before NAD by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. CRN files challenges with NAD in an effort to encourage manufacturers of dietary supplements to provide substantiation for their advertising claims to an objective, third-party for review and evaluation and to assure that claims being promoted to consumers are truthful, not misleading and are substantiated with credible scientific evidence.

In this case, CRN argued that the testimonials and product name overstated the product’s joint pain relief benefits.

The advertiser, in response to NAD’s initial inquiry, responded in writing that it had permanently discontinued the challenged the testimonials and endorsement. Given that representation, NAD did not review the claims on their merits.  NAD noted, though, that the voluntarily discontinued claims will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended their discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

The challenger further argued that the product name expressly conveyed the message that Arthri-D3 treats arthritis. NAD found that there was no intrinsic evidence of consumer confusion to warrant a recommendation that the advertiser change the product name. NAD noted that shared CRN’s concern that the name “Arthri-D3” when used in conjunction with testimonials related to relief from arthritis pain might convey the misleading message that “Arthri-D3” immediately and completely relieves arthritis pain.

However, given the advertiser’s decision to voluntarily discontinue testimonials related to relief from arthritis pain, NAD did not review the messages implied by the testimonials in combination with the product name.

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said that it “firmly believes that self-regulation is vital to the advertising community and appreciated the opportunity to respond to, and work with, CRN and NAD on this matter.”