BBB National Programs Archive

NAD Refers Advertising from RDK Global to FTC for Further Review

New York, NY – July 10,  2014 – The National Advertising Division has referred to the Federal Trade Commission advertising claims made by RDK Global for  the company’s Provailen dietary supplement after the company failed to provide a substantive response to an inquiry from 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.

The advertising claims at issue were challenged by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) as part of an initiative to expand NAD’s review of claims made for dietary supplements. CRN challenged certain performance and establishment claims that include:

• “Stops Arthritis Pain At The Source!”
• “Relieves Arthritis Inflammation!”
• “Zero Side Effects!”
• “Manufactured in F.D.A. Approved Facility!”
• “No Medication Interactions!”
• “87.6% of clients asked experience up to 90% reduction in arthritis pain.”
• “Provailen uses Reishi mushroom as part of its 3-in-1 formula to rebalance your immune system and relieve your inflammation.”
• “…I ordered Provailen and started taking 3 times a day.  After taking Provailen for 2.5 months I started to notice that most of my joint pain was gone but my shoulder pain was still there.  But I still continued taking Provailen.  This time I was taking twice a day.  After taking Provailen for 4 months my shoulder pain started to subside.  That was the most amazing thing to me.  Now 90% of the pain is gone.  Thank God I did not go for the surgery.  Now I am taking Provailen once a day.  Thanks to Provailen that has helped me a lot.”

CRN argued that the challenged claims suggest that Provailen may be used to treat pain and manage serious medical conditions and reasonably convey the message that the supplement is an alternative to Food and Drug Administration-approved medication which, CRN maintained, may encourage consumers to forego conventional medical treatment.  CRN further argued that the express and implied benefits claims in the testimonials must reflect “typical results” that consumers can expect to achieve when consuming the product as directed.

The advertiser failed to file a substantive written response in response to NAD’s inquiry or provide any evidence to substantiate the challenged claims and testimonials, both of which have the potential to encourage consumers to forego taking medications or necessary medical procedures to treat arthritis—a result which can have serious health-related repercussions.

Based on the advertiser’s failure to file a substantive written response, NAD is referring this matter to the Federal Trade Commission pursuant to section 2.10 (A) of the NAD/NARB Procedures.