BBB National Programs Archive
NAD Finds AIRSLEEP Can Support Certain ‘Brainwave Technology’ Claims for Travel Sleep System; Recommends Company Modify, Discontinue Certain Claims
New York, NY – Dec. 16, 2013 – The National Advertising Division has determined that Applied Technology and Development, LLC, can support certain claims for the company’s AIRSLEEP Travel Sleep System.
However, NAD recommended the advertiser modify or discontinue claims comparative superiority claims or claims that overstate the science behind AIRSLEEP.
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 an initial matter, NAD determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for its claims regarding the manner in which the AIRSLEEP technology works: That it uses binaural beats to produce a 4Hz or lower audio tone. Upon hearing the tone, the human brain converts it into delta waves and the combination of nature sounds, ambient music, and brainwave audio tracks may promote relaxation, leading to sleep.
Because achieving a relaxed state can help an individual fall asleep, NAD did not take issue with claims regarding AIRSLEEP’s usage as an aid to falling asleep, including claims promoting the ability of AIRSLEEP to “help you sleep,” “gently guide you into a deep, safe, satisfying relaxation or sleep” or “kickstart the process.”
However, in the absence of evidence that the technology would cause a user to fall asleep, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue claims that expressly stated or implied otherwise, including “For the best sleep of your life, AIRSLEEP is your only choice.”
NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue claims that overstated evidence as to the efficacy of AIRSLEEP, including: Triggering the brain’s “deep sleep” response is “automatic and unavoidable” and that AIRSLEEP works on the user’s conscious and sub-conscious mind by “forcing your brain to relax whether it wants to or not.”
Further, NAD was concerned by the fact that several other claims exceeded the scientific evidence regarding the effects of brainwave entrainment with delta waves by claiming that the quality of sleep or relaxation achievable through the use of AIRSLEEP is superior to that which can be achieved by pills or dietary supplements.
NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its express comparative superiority claim that the audio tracks cause “… a level of sleep or relaxation that can’t be achieved by pills or other artificial means.” In addition, NAD determined that claim “TRIED SUPPLEMENTS? TRIED ‘WHITE NOISE MACHINES? THEN TRY AIRSLEEP. Get AIRSLEEP and sleep tonight!” conveyed an implied comparative message that the AIRSLEEP Product works better than dietary supplements or white noise machines and recommended that such comparisons be discontinued.
NAD found that the advertiser’s evidence reasonably established that the effects of AIRSLEEP could be achieved in 30 minutes – a timeframe accurately described as “fast-acting.”
However, to avoid the potential for consumer confusion, NAD recommended that the claim
“…This unique formula has a powerful, fast-acting effect,” be modified to more clearly indicate that the “fast-acting effect” is limited to promoting a more relaxed state Further, NAD recommended the advertiser discontinue claims that suggest AIRSLEEP works immediately.
In the absence of any comparative performance testing between AIRSLEEP and its competitors, NAD recommended the advertiser modify the claims “the most advanced.” modification of the phrase “the most advanced.”
The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it “is extremely happy with the NAD’s conclusion that many claims in our ad campaign for the AIRSLEEP TRAVEL SLEEP SYSTEM iOS APP are supported. Insofar as any phrases or wording appearing in our advertising that the NAD takes issue with (or suggests changes to), we will be happy to adopt all of those recommendations and make the necessary adjustments.”