BBB National Programs Archive

Bell Commits to Discontinue Certain Claims for ‘Virux’ Product; NAD Finds Advertiser Can Support Certain Claims

New York, NY – June 8,  2014 – Bell Lifestyle Products has discontinued certain advertising claims for the company’s “Virux Viral Infections #42,” dietary supplement, action that NAD had determined was necessary. NAD further determined that the company provided adequate substantiation for certain immune-support claims.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

As part of an initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition, designed to expand NAD’s review of advertising claims for dietary supplements, CRN challenged certain advertising claims disseminated by Bell for its “Virux Viral Infections #42” dietary supplement.

During the course of the challenge, the advertiser informed NAD that it had revised its advertising and had permanently discontinued  certain express and implied claims, including:

  • Helps you with sexually transmitted diseases, herpes, cold sores, and influenza
  • Has the ability to inhibit virus replication
  • African plant base that has the ability to inhibit virus replication in our bodies
  • Implied claims:
  • Virux works immediately to lessen or kill existing cold and flu viruses and other infections.
  • Virux prevents cold and flu viruses.
  • Virux works immediately to lessen or kill herpes and other viruses.

Further, the advertiser represented that it had permanently discontinued the testimonials that were on its website.

Although the advertiser produced evidence of antiviral properties of certain individual ingredients such as Prunella, Lysine, Astragalus and Red Marine Algae, NAD concluded that the advertiser did not possess competent and reliable scientific evidence sufficient to support the performance claims that the product kills or prevents herpes, flu, cold or lessens the severity or duration of the symptoms associated with these viruses.  Consequently, NAD said, it appreciated the advertiser’s undertaking to permanently discontinue claims related to the treatment of herpes, cold sores and influenza, action NAD determined was necessary and appropriate.

NAD also appreciates the advertiser’s decision to change the name of its product and remove the reference to “Viral Infection.”

The modification is important, NAD noted,  to avoid conveying the unsupported message that the product has been shown to demonstrate clinical efficacy for the treatment of health-related conditions or symptoms, a claim that was not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.

NAD determined that the advertiser’s evidence provided a reasonable basis for modified immune system support claims including:

  • “Virux #42 provides essential building blocks to keep your immune system running at its peak performance!”
  • “One ingredient in our proprietary formulation is red marine algae, a superfood! It provides nutrients necessary to make interferon, B cells and T cells, all components of your immune system.”
  • “Lysine is an amino acid used by your body to make all proteins. Proteins are essential building blocks and critical to good health and well being. However, your body cannot make Lysine. You must get Lysine from your daily diet.”
  • “Lysine is essential to the body’s natural defenses. In particular Lysine is required for your body to make antibodies, a key to your immune system.”

The company, in its advertiser’s statement said that it “appreciates the NAD’s review and supports the industry’s self-regulatory process.”