BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Refers Advertising Claims Made by Lab Door to FTC for Further Review, After Company Declines to Participate in NAD Process

New York, NY – July 12, 2017  – The National Advertising Division has referred advertising claims made by Lab Door, LLC to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for further review, after the company declined to participate in a proceeding before NAD.

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

Internet claims made by Lab Door for its dietary supplement ratings and rankings were challenged by Jarrow Formulas, Inc., a maker of dietary supplements.  Claims at issue included:

  • “Research, find, and buy the best supplements based on real science.”
  • “Enables consumers to identify and purchase “the best supplements.”
  • “Laboratory results and label claims for each product are used to calculate a Quality score, which is comprised of individual scores for Label Accuracy, Product Purity, Nutritional Value, Ingredient Safety and Project Efficacy.”
  • “LabDoor also ranks supplements “by Value through a paired matching of quality and price.”
  • “Products are ranked and assigned an A through F grade based on their overall Quality score.”
  • “LabDoor purports to base its product purity rank on “a purity assessment of heavy metals and Proposition 65.”
  • LabDoor acknowledges that its nutritional value score is based on Dietary Reference Intake (“DRI”) comparison and, if a DRI is not applicable, “an evaluation of peer-reviewed research and meta-analyses is performed to ascertain relevant thresholds.”
  • “LabDoor ingredient safety ranking is “based on assessment of whether a product has too much of an active ingredient.”

Jarrow also asked NAD to review:

  • Any and all implied representations as to LabDoor’s ability to present accurate information to assist consumers in their purchasing decisions with respect to dietary supplements, including, but not limited to: Top 10 lists; A-F letter grading; statements such as “highest quality” or “best value” for consumers.
  • Any and all implied representations as to the ability to use laboratory testing or “reverse engineering” to determine and rank the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements.
  • Any and all implied representations as to the accuracy or capability of LabDoor’s “proprietary algorithm” in ranking/comparing dietary supplements.
  • Use of and LabDoor Magazine as “editorial content” to imply expertise in fields of nutrition and increased sales.

The advertiser advised NAD in writing that it will not participate in the self-regulatory process.

Given the advertiser’s decision against participation in the self-regulatory process, NAD has referred the advertising at issue to the FTC for review, pursuant to NAD/CARU Procedures.

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.