BBB National Programs Archive
NAD FINDS NATURE’S WAY CAN SUPPORT CERTAIN ADVERTISING CLAIMS FOR ‘UMCKA COLDCARE,’ Recommends Advertiser Discontinue Comparative Performance Claim
New York, New York – Jan. 19, 2012 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better
Business Bureaus Claims has determined that Nature’s Way Products, Inc., can support certain
advertising claims for the company’s Umcka ColdCare Chewable Tablet product. NAD recommended
the company discontinue certain claims, including comparative performance claims.
NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed the claims for the product as part of
NAD’s ongoing monitoring program.
NAD requested substantiation for claims that included:
• “While other cold medicines just mask symptoms, Umcka ColdCare speeds recovery –
• “Attack your cold and get better faster with homeopathic Umcka ColdCare.”
• “It’s safe, natural and clinically proven to shorten duration and reduce the severity of coughs,
colds, sore throats and sinus/bronchial infections.”
The advertiser explained that Umcka ColdCare is a homeopathic medicine that contains EPs 7630, a
the proprietary extract that is obtained from the roots of the South African pelargonium sidoides
plant and manufactured in Germany, where it has been approved by
BfArM, the German equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as a drug for the treatment
of acute bronchitis.
(Full text of decision available to media upon request.)
The advertiser advised NAD that the extract, EPs 7630, has been the subject of more than twenty
clinical studies involving thousands of patients, nine of which the advertiser submitted in support of
its claims. Clinical trials involved either the Umckaloabo Solution or Umckaloabo Tablets against a
NAD determined that the advertiser’s evidence provided support for claims related to speed of
action, including “Umcka ColdCare speeds recovery-naturally” and “attack your cold and get better
faster with homeopathic Umcka ColdCare.”
NAD came to a different conclusion, however, with regard to the claim “[w]hile other cold medicines
mask symptoms.” With the exception of one study, the advertiser’s studies compared Umcka against
placebo and not other cold medicines. NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the
comparative performance claim.
In considering the advertiser’s “clinically proven,” claims, NAD noted that such have a powerful
impact on consumers and must be supported by reliable, competent and consumer-relevant
scientific evidence. In the case, the advertiser’s evidence supported the claims that the product is “safe, natural and
clinically proven to shorten duration and reduce the severity of coughs, colds, sore throats and
The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while it “believes that the claim, ‘while other
cold medicines mask symptoms’ is substantiated by the promoted and acknowledged short-term,
symptom-masking benefits of most cold medicines on the market,” it will “take the NAD’s comments
into consideration in preparing future promotional claims.”
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 www.narcpartners.org