BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Finds Iovate can Support Challenged Claims for ‘Six Star Whey Protein Plus’

New York, NY – May 14,   2015 – The National Advertising Division has determined that Iovate Health Sciences International, the maker of “Six Star Whey Protein Plus” dietary supplement powder, can support challenged claims for the product. The claims at issue were challenged by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).

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

In support of its superiority, performance and establishment claims, the advertiser submitted the results of a clinical trial on two of the ingredients in Six Star Whey Protein Plus – the Burke study.

NAD precedent makes clear that when making claims based on the ingredients in a product, the advertised product should contain similar ingredient amounts, formulations and route of administration as the underlying study submitted in support of the health claims. To be considered sufficiently reliable to provide a reasonable basis for an advertiser’s’ health-related claims, the ingredient study should constitute competent and reliable evidence.

Competent and reliable scientific evidence, generally speaking, is usually in the form of human clinical trials that are methodologically sound and statistically significant to the 95% confidence level. In reviewing such claims, NAD assesses the fit of the clinical trial to the advertised benefits to determine whether the trial results translated into meaningful benefits for consumers that relate directly to the performance attributes promised by the advertising.

In this case, CRN argued that the Burke study tested a supplement powder that was different in dosage and formulation than the advertiser’s product. As a result, the challenger contended that the study could not be considered competent and reliable support for the purpose of substantiating the advertiser’s claims.

The advertiser argued that the Burke study formulation was essentially equivalent to that of the Six Star Whey Protein Plus and that any small differences between the two were inconsequential to the study outcomes. The advertiser further argued that it clearly explains to consumers the basis for its advertising claims.

NAD examined the claims as they appeared in print and Internet advertising and on the product label. Following its review of the evidence, NAD determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for the challenged claims, in the context  in which those claims appeared.

NAD recommended that the advertiser clearly, conspicuously and in close proximity to its print claim “scientifically shown to be 70% better than regular whey” include the qualifying language that its claim is based on ingredient testing and also include the relative amounts of weight gained in the whey and whey-creatine groups (8.8 vs. 5.1 pounds).

NAD determined that the advertiser had provided a reasonable basis for its claims that “boosts strength & supports recovery” and “loaded with micro-filtered whey proteins, fast-absorbing BCAAs and glutamine to help you recover from your workout.

Further, NAD determined that the advertiser had provided a reasonable basis for the challenged consumer testimonials and that no “generally expected results” disclosures were necessary.

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it “appreciates NAD’s careful review of the issues presented in this challenge and will consider NAD’s recommendations regarding product disclosures in future Six Star advertising.”