BBB National Programs Archive


New York, NY – Feb. 13,  2012  – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Direct Digital, LLC, can support certain advertising claims made in print and Internet advertising for the company’s “Instaflex” dietary supplement.

As part of its routine monitoring program, NAD requested substantiation for claims that included:

  •  “Relieve and comfort your joints.”
  •  “…increase flexibility.”
  •  “Lubricate for healthy fluid movement.”
  •   “Protect and enhance your mobility.”

The advertiser explained that Instaflex is a dietary supplement formulated to decrease joint discomfort associated with motion while also improving joint flexibility, reach and use.  Instaflex contains four key ingredients: glucosamine sulfate (1,500 mg), methylsulfonylmethane (500 mg), ginger root extract (250 mg) and hyaluronic acid (4 mg).  The advertiser argued that its claims were based on competent and reliable, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled studies of these four active ingredients.

NAD has noted in several prior cases involving glucosamine supplements that the research on glucosamine supports claims of a joint health benefit after approximately six weeks of supplementation. NAD further noted that the landmark study on glucosamine supplementation, the Glucosamine/chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT 2), study, found that glucosamine provided some joint health benefit in participants with osteoarthritis.   In reviewing its own glucosamine cases, NAD has consistently recognized methodologically sound studies that have produced results that demonstrate that glucosamine provides a joint health benefit, where 1500 mg per day of glucosamine was identified as the efficacious dose.  At this dosage, NAD has routinely found a reasonable basis for claims that glucosamine “lubricates,” “rebuilds,” “comforts” and increases “mobility” of joints.

In this case, NAD found that the results of the advertiser’s glucosamine studies were in line with the GAIT studies. NAD determined that, because of the 1500 mg of glucosamine in the product, the advertiser had provided a reasonable basis for its product claims that Instaflex can “relieve and comfort your joints,” “…increase flexibility,” “lubricate for healthy fluid movement,” and “protect and enhance your mobility.”

Direct Digital, in its advertiser’s statement, said it “values and supports industry self-regulation, and we welcome the NAD’s decision regarding advertising for the Instaflex.”

NAD’s inquiry was conducted under NAD/CARU/NARB Procedures for the Voluntary Self-Regulation of National Advertising.  Details of the initial inquiry, NAD’s decision, and the advertiser’s response will be included in the next NAD/CARU Case Report.

About Advertising Industry Self-Regulation: The National Advertising Review Council (NARC) was formed in 1971. NARC establishes the policies and procedures for the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the CBBB’s Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) and the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP).

The NARC Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the American Advertising Federation, Inc. (AAF), American Association of Advertising Agencies, Inc., (AAAA), the Association of National Advertisers, Inc. (ANA), Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB), Direct Marketing Association (DMA), Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).  Its purpose is to foster truth and accuracy in national advertising through voluntary self-regulation.

NAD, CARU and ERSP are the investigative arms of the advertising industry’s voluntary self-regulation program. Their casework results from competitive challenges from other advertisers, and also from self-monitoring traditional and new media. NARB, the appeals body, is a peer group from which ad-hoc panels are selected to adjudicate NAD/CARU cases that are not resolved at the NAD/CARU level. This unique, self-regulatory system is funded entirely by the business community; CARU is financed by the children’s advertising industry, while NAD/NARC/NARB’s primary source of funding is derived from membership fees paid to the CBBB. ERSP’s funding is derived from membership in the Electronic Retailing Association. For more information about advertising industry self-regulation, please visit