BBB National Programs Archive
NAD FINDS ZADRO CAN SUPPORT CERTAIN ADVERTISING CLAIMS FOR ‘NANO-UV DISINFECTANT WAND’ – Recommends Advertiser Modify, Discontinue Certain Claims
New York, NY – March 12, 2012 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has found that Zadro Health Solutions can support certain advertising claims for the company’s Nano-UV Disinfectant Wand. NAD recommended that the advertiser modify or discontinue certain claims.
NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum monitors advertising in all media. Pursuant to its ongoing monitoring program, requested the advertiser provide substantiation for claims that included:
- “Nano-UV Wand kills 99.9% of bacteria, germs, viruses on surfaces.”
- “Kills dust mites, lice & flea and bed bug eggs in pillows, bedding and carpet.”
- “Keep you and your family healthy – eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses in seconds – dust mites too!”
- “Stop the spread of germs – from the common cold and flu viruses to bacteria, mold and fungus with Nano-UV Disinfectant Wands.”
- “Proven effective by independent laboratories, the Nano-UV Disinfectant Wand destroys all kinds of different microorganisms without the use of harmful chemical disinfectants or sprays.”
The advertiser explained that the light technology behind its Nano-UV Disinfectant Wand was developed in China during the SARS epidemic. UV-C light (ultra violet radiation), also referred to as Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI), is a sterilization method that uses ultraviolet light at sufficiently short wavelength to kill microorganisms.
NAD noted in its decision that when advertising claims involve express claims of product performance, the advertiser must affirmatively demonstrate that the product actively performs the function, or provides the benefit claimed in the advertisement.
In this case, the advertiser claimed that its product would kill “99.9% of bacteria, germs, viruses on surfaces”, and “[s]top the spread of germs – from the common cold and flu viruses to bacteria, mold and fungus … .”
NAD reviewed the evidence submitted by the advertiser to determine whether that evidence provided adequate support for the advertiser’s claims. NAD determined that the evidence supported the claims that the product killed 99.9% of E.coli, staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimmuriumand MS2 (single-strand RNA virus) and reduced viral antibodies against H1N1 within five to thirty seconds – “impressive results that the advertiser should be free to promote,” NAD stated.
However, NAD noted that certain claims at issue were broader than the evidence could support. NAD recommended that the advertiser modify certain claims, including:
“Nano-UV Wand kills 99.9% of bacteria, germs, viruses on surfaces”, and “[s]top the spread of germs – from the common cold and flu viruses to bacteria, mold and fungus.” NAD further recommended that the advertiser limit its “99.9% killing” claim to the specific viruses against which its product has been documented as effective, and discontinue the unsupported claim that the product is effective against mold and fungus.
NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim that the product will “keep you and your family healthy,” but noted that the decision does not preclude the advertiser from promoting that the product can “help keep your family from harmful bacteria and viruses,” if the claim is limited to the viruses against which the product has been proven effective
NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its unsupported claim that its product “[k]ills dust mites, lice & flea and bed bug eggs in pillows, bedding and carpet,” although NAD concluded that the advertiser could support a more limited “proven effective” claim, as long as advertiser identifies the specific germs or microorganisms against which the product has been proven effective.
Finally, NAD concluded that the advertiser’s claim that its Nano-UV Disinfectant Wand achieves efficacy without the use of harmful chemicals or sprays was substantiated.
The company, in its advertiser’s statement, thanked NAD for “for its review of the evidence provided and agreed to modify its advertising in accordance with NAD’s recommendations.”
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.