BBB National Programs Archive

NAD refers advertising for Nutraceuticals International’s “Fucopure” To FTC

New York, NY – April 7, 2009 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has referred advertising published by Nutraceuticals International LLC, for “Fucopure,” to the Federal Trade Commission for further review. Nutraceuticals International declined to participate in a NAD proceeding, following a challenge to its advertising by P.L. Thomas, a competing maker of dietary supplements.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, asked the advertiser to provide substantiation for disease claims that tout FucoPure as a “A totally new, totally innovative approach to combating obesity, hyperlipidemia, and Type II diabetes.”

NAD also requested substantiation for weight-loss claims that state FucoPure was proven in the “First US human clinical trial to show the ability of a physician strength Fucoxanthin extract to significantly reduce body weight, percent body fat …” and strong superiority and exclusivity claims, including claims that state that FucoPure is “The Only Clinical Strength Fucoxanthin 10% Extract.”

The advertiser failed to respond to NAD’s initial inquiry, but responded through its attorney after receiving NAD’s second letter. At that time, the advertiser, through its attorney, requested an extension as a professional courtesy, which was granted. The advertiser failed to file a response on the agreed upon date, and despite continued outreach from NAD, has refused to participate.

Given the advertiser’s failure to provide a substantive response, pursuant to Section 2.9 of the NAD/NARB Procedures, NAD will refer this matter to the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration for possible law enforcement action.