BBB National Programs Archive

GSK, The Winning Combination Participate in NAD Forum

New York, NY – Oct. 28, 2008 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that The Winning Combination discontinue certain advertising claims for the company’s Resolve Stop Smoking Aid, including claims made in testimonials.

 NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined advertising claims made on product packaging and in Website advertising following a challenge by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, a maker of competing smoking-cessation aids.

 NAD reviewed claims on product packaging that include:

  • “STOP SMOKING Naturally In As Little As 3 Weeks”
  • “Clinically Tested to Help You: Stop Smoking Once and for All”
  • “The Natural Stop Smoking Aid”
  • “[Resolve is] the only smoking cessation product with patent pending Cestemenol 350 , tested and clinically proven to help gradually reduce the amount you smoke.”

 NAD also examined Website advertising claims, including:

  • “The Natural Way to STOP SMOKING in As Little As 3 weeks, Without quitting Cold Turkey!”
  • “Scientific Testing Proves Resolve TM Can Help You Stop Smoking Naturally With Far Less Stress & Anxiety”
  • “Clinically tested stop smoking results”
  • “Stop smoking with far less anxiety”
  • “Eventually [after starting Resolve] you’ll get to the point where any desire to smoke is completely eliminated!”
  •  “Resolve can be used as often as needed without any problems”
  • “Resolve dramatically reduces the symptoms associated with smoking cessation.  Many users have commented that they had no desire to smoke by the end of the program.”
  • “There are no known side effects while using RESOLVE with Cestemenol 350”
  • “In clinical trials, 67% of Resolve users were smoke free after 12 months.  Your chances of going smoke free with Resolve are very good”
  • “You don’t have to quit cold turkey like the other products on the market.  You know the ones you’ve probably tried with not-so-good results.”
  • “…clinical studies using Resolve allowed people to stop smoking completely in as little as 3 weeks.  You could be next.”

 As part of its inquiry, NAD reviewed evidence offered by the advertiser, including a clinical study and two U.S. Patents. NAD determined that the study provided a limited form of evidence for the role of ethyl maltol, the key ingredient in the Resolve product, in reducing cigarette consumption. However, NAD determined that the study was insufficient to support the broad “smoking cessation” claims made for Resolve or the establishment claims that the product was “clinically proven.”

NAD recommended that advertiser’s establishment claims and broad efficacy claims, including those made in the form of testimonials, be discontinued. 

NAD further determined that the advertiser did not establish, by competent and reliable evidence, that users of Resolve experience less stress or anxiety than users of competitive smoke cessation products and recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim: “You don’t have to quit cold turkey like the other products on the market. You know the ones you’ve probably tried with not-so-good results.” 

Finally, NAD determined that the advertiser had a reasonable basis for claiming that Resolve had natural ingredients, but recommended that the advertiser discontinue claims that the product has been proven to be safe and that “Resolve can be used as often as needed without any problems.”

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, that while it “disagrees with the NAD assessment and recommendations, as a cooperative measure, it will accede to the requests of the NAD and make the requested changes.”