BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Recommends Nootrobox Discontinue Challenged Performance Claims for Rise, Sprint, Yawn Supplements; Finds Company Can Support Limited Ingredient Claims

New York, NY – Sept. 16, 2016 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that Nootrobox, Inc. discontinue all challenged product-performance claims for the company’s Rise, Sprint and Yawn dietary supplements.

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

NAD opened its inquiry into claims made for the products as part of its ongoing monitoring program and in conjunction with an initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition to expand the review of advertising claims for dietary supplements.

NAD requested substantiation for certain express performance and implied claims made for the products in internet advertising, including:

  • “RISE: The daily nootropic.  Memory, Stamina, and Resilience.  RISE is your daily nootropic designed to enhance your long-term cognitive performance.  Increase your baseline cognition.  Shown to increase working memory and resilience to stress.” 
  • “SPRINT: Get the job done.  Energy, Clarity and Flow.  Conquer exams, deadlines or any mentally demanding task.  SPRINT is a consistent way to get into flow rate.”
  • “YAWN: Optimize sleep.  Relaxation, Restfulness and Rejuvenation.  Get the most out of your rest.  YAWN helps you get to sleep faster, sink into deep sleep more reliably and wake up more refreshed and rejuvenated.”
  • “Nutrients for your brain.”
  • I can attest that I certainly did feel a good deal sharper and focused than I’m accustomed to.  It’s a headspace I wouldn’t mind occupying more often.  In the interest of gathering some external data, I asked my colleague Steve Tweedie if I seem any different this past week.  He said, “You seem a little more energetic.  More talkative.  It’s odd.  I wasn’t really thinking about it before.”

The advertiser explained that Nootrobox was founded in 2014 and that it primarily develops dietary supplements called “nootropics,” which are designed to promote cognitive benefits.  According to the advertiser, “nootropic” is a descriptor which spans all regulatory classifications of compounds with cognitive enhancing properties.  The advertiser maintained that it regularly updates the formulations of its products based on latest advancements in nootropic compounds and cognitive enhancement and upon consultation with its medical advisory team.

In support of the challenged product-performance claims, the advertiser submitted numerous studies on each of the ingredients in Rise, Sprint and Yawn, and argued that the totality of the ingredient studies supported product-performance claims.  It was undisputed that the products themselves have not been tested.

NAD has previously held that while ingredient studies may be valid for qualified ingredient claims, they are not sufficient to support efficacy and performance claims for a product.

NAD noted in its decision that “claims that do not match the science, no matter how sound that science is, are likely to be unsubstantiated.”  In the absence of any competent and reliable evidence on the actual product or that the ingredients, taken together, will produce the same effects as the each of the ingredients, NAD recommended that all of the challenged product performance claims for Rise, Sprint and Yawn be discontinued.

NAD next assessed whether the evidence in the record could support qualified ingredient claims.

NAD determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for ingredient claims relating to the ability of caffeine in Sprint to increase focus and mental clarity and the melatonin in Yawn to provide sleep benefits.

NAD recommended that the claim “Nutrients for your brain” be discontinued or modified to reflect the evidence in the record.  NAD also recommended that the claim “Upgrade your brain” be discontinued.  Finally, NAD recommended that the testimonials be discontinued.

Nootrobox, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while the company disagreed with NAD’s conclusions and recommendations, it “supports the self-regulatory process and voluntarily will comply with the NAD’s recommendations to discontinue or modify the challenged claims.”

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.