BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Refers Advertising for ‘Stemulite’ to FTC, FDA for Further Review

New York, New York – August 26,  2009 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has referred advertising from Metabolic Research, Inc., for the Stemulite dietary supplement to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for further review, following the company’s decision not to participate in an NAD review of advertising for the product.

As a 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 – the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum – requested that the company provide supporting evidence for advertising claims that included:

  • “People who take Stemulite Experience:
    • Deep REM Sleep
    • Increased Muscle Gain and Endurance
    • Increased Weight Loss and Fat Loss
    • Increased Wellness and Energy”
  • “Achieve Peak Athletic Performance Naturally with Stemulite all-natural Fitness Formula”

NAD was also concerned about testimonials on the Stemulite website, including:

  • “Within Two Days of Using Stemulite, I Slept Great!”
  • “I Have Noticed A Tremendous Energy Boost.”
  • “Using Stemulite, I Have Seen Results in 2-3 Weeks.”
  • “In Three Days, Suddenly My Sleep Was Fantastic.”
  • “I Am Getting Eight Hours of Restful Sleep, It’s A Miracle”
  • “I Had A 6 Pound Loss In A Short Period Of Time.”
  • “In Just 5 Days, My Endurance Has Increased 25%”

The advertiser contacted NAD, and despite requesting and being given an extension of time within which to file its response, failed to do so. The advertiser represented to NAD that it would be conducting a study in the future and would participate after the completion of the study.

NAD noted that it is a well-settled principle of advertising law that an advertiser must possess adequate substantiation before it publishes advertising claims. NAD’s procedures provide that if an advertiser does not participate in the process, NAD may refer the advertising at issue to the appropriate government agency for further review.

NAD was disappointed that the advertiser did not participate in the NAD inquiry, particularly in light of the health and weight-loss claims being made. Based on the advertiser’s failure to participate, NAD will refer this matter to the FTC and FDA for possible law enforcement action.