BBB National Programs Archive

NAD RECOMMENDS EYESCIENCE LABS DISCONTINUE CERTAIN CLAIMS FOR ‘COMPUTER EYE STRAIN FORMULA,’ INCLUDING CLAIM RELATED TO MACULAR DEGENERATION Company Agrees to Do So

New York, NY – Feb. 14,  2012  – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that EyeScience Labs, LLC discontinue certain advertising claims for the company’s  for its “Computer Eye Strain Formula” dietary supplement, including a claim made in a testimonial that the product could slow the progress of macular degeneration.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined claims that included:

  • “The most complete vitamin for relief from eye strain and fatigue.”
  • “Our clinically proven ingredients include the eye-healthy nutrients AstaREAL astaxanthin, FloraGlo lutein and zeaxanthin.  Together these powerful carotenoid antioxidants help increase blood flow, improve accommodation, and reduce inflammation for a noticeable difference while using the computer.”
  • “Vitamins for the relief of eye strain and eye fatigue.”
  • “EyeScience Macular Protect Formula has slowed down my macular degeneration.”

As a general rule, health-related advertising claims must be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence – well-controlled studies on the actual product, with results that that translate into a meaningful benefit for consumers and relate directly to the performance promised by the advertising.

 

In this case, there was no testing conducted on the advertised product and evidence in the record included the results of studies conducted in Japan on a single ingredient, the antioxidant astaxanthin.

 

In response to NAD’s initial inquiry, the advertiser said it would remove the testimonial at issue and modify the claim “Vitamins for the relief of eye strain and eye fatigue.”

 

NAD noted it appreciation for the advertiser’s voluntary actions, but recommended the advertiser discontinue all product performance claims.

 

Further, NAD recommended that in future advertising, the company limit product performance claims to the potential of astaxanthin to help reduce eye strain and fatigue.

 

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it would “begin the process to phase out any boxes/labels/literature/website that have the original claim copy” and replace them “with the acceptable version right away.”

 

 

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.