BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Refers Advertising for ‘Steuart’s Pain Formula’ To FTC, Following Advertiser’s Failure to Provide Substantiation for Pain-Relief Claims

New York, NY – April 13, 2016 – The National Advertising Division has referred advertising claims made by Steuart Laboratories, Inc., for its Steuart’s Pain Formula, to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the second time, following the company’s repeated failures to provide substantiation for challenged advertising claims.

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 claims at issue, including product efficacy claims and testimonials, were initially challenged before the NAD by EuroPharma, Inc., a maker of competing homeopathic products. EuroPharma challenged claims that included:

  • Steuart’s Pain Formula provides significant and rapid relief of joint and muscle pain associated with arthritis and injuries.
  • Steuart’s Pain Formula will normally reduce pain within 5 to 15 minutes after application and can be effective for up to 8 hours.
  • “[O]ne woman I gave a sample to….she’s off [arthritis] medication and completely satisfied with this alternative.”
  • “was able to get relief from the post-[open heart] surgical pain in his chest.”

The advertiser declined to provide a substantive response to NAD’s initial inquiry and failed to file a written substantive response within the additional 15 days provided by the NAD/NARB Procedures.

The claims at issue were referred to the FTC for review. Upon contact with the FTC, the advertiser agreed to participate in the self-regulatory process, was informed of the types of evidence typically provided in support of such challenged claims challenged and granted an additional 15 days in which to respond.  The advertiser failed provide a substantive response and was granted an additional 12 days to file its submission.  The advertiser again declined to provide a response to NAD’s inquiry.

In light of the advertiser’s repeated failure to provide a substantive response to NAD’s request for substantiation for the challenged claims or participate in any way in the self-regulatory process, NAD has referred the matter to the FTC for possible law enforcement action.

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.