BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Recommends GAT Modify, Discontinue Claims at Issue for NITRAFLEX Supplement

New York, NY – July 9, 2013 – The National Advertising Division recommended that GAT (German-American Technologies) modify or discontinue certain advertising claims made for the company’s “NITRAFLEX Hyperemia & Testosterone Enhancing PWD” dietary supplement.

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

The advertiser described its NITRAFLEX instant drink mix, which contains caffeine, as a supplement designed to be used 30-45 minutes prior to engaging in resistance exercise to increase perceived energy levels and otherwise enhance one’s ability to endure heavier workloads, in turn promoting faster increases in muscle size and performance.

The advertisement at issue was a two-page magazine spread, headlined by the following statement: “Clinically proven to increase strength!” The advertisement also included a graphic and text that described the results of a pilot study – the NITRAFLEX study – commissioned by the advertiser.

NAD noted in its decision that “clinically proven” claims are held to a high standard of proof because such claims stand as a promise to consumer that there is scientific evidence to “establish” or prove their truth.

In determining whether there is a reasonable basis for an establishment claim, NAD noted, it looks to determine whether an advertiser has produced reliable, well-controlled, and consumer-relevant clinical testing.

In this case, the advertiser relied in part on a pilot study that included only five participants and lacked appropriate blinding and placebo controls.

Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD determined that the statement “Clinically Proven to Increase Strength!” was an establishment claim that was not supported by competent and reliable evidence. NAD recommended that the claim be discontinued.

NAD also recommended that the advertiser discontinue claims based on the NITRAFLEX study, as well as the claims “Vasodilation,” “Testosterone,” “Reactive Hyperemia,” “(Muscle Pumps),” “Hardness,” and “Building muscle at an anabolically-expedited rate,” because the evidence upon which the claims were based was not sufficiently reliable.

NAD determined that, based on the amount of caffeine in the product and the research submitted regarding caffeine and exercise, the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for its claims “Energy” and “intensity beyond belief.”

However, NAD recommended that the advertiser qualify the claims to explain that they are based on the ingredient caffeine and not testing on the product itself.

Finally, NAD recommended that the advertiser modify its “Strength” claim to make clear that increased strength can be attained because the caffeine in NITRAFLEX provides increased energy during workouts, and not because of any other mechanism of action.

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it intends “to adopt the NAD’s recommendations when designing advertisements in the future. In addition, we will take its comments into consideration when conducting scientific studies.”