BBB National Programs Archive
NAD Reviews Advertising for Bayer’s ‘Aleve’ Liquid Gels, Finds Claims Substantiated by Bayer’s Evidence
New York, New York – Oct. 1 , 2009 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Bayer Healthcare, LLC, can substantiate claims made in packaging, television, print, and Internet advertising for Aleve and Aleve Liquid Gels products.
NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed the claims at issue, following a challenge by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, manufacturer of Advil, a competing analgesic.
Claims at issue included:
- “minimum daily dosing” and “minimum label dosing”
- “all day pain-free movement” and “stop pain all day”
- “Only two Aleve can stop pain all day” and “that would take twice as many Advil.”
- “Just 2 Aleve = 4 Advil”
- “the best value”
Wyeth also challenged a pill-count comparison graph that two Aleve caplets stacked next to four Advil caplets, with the claim “Just 2 Aleve = 4 Advil.”
NAD noted in its decision that Bayer has, since at least 2002, made a pill-count comparison in its advertising, including the recent claim that two Aleve capsules equal four Advil capsules. The advertiser maintained, and NAD accepted, that the pill count comparison is based on the respective FDA-approved labels for Aleve and Advil, which state in part:
- Aleve: “Do not take more than directed. The smallest effective dose should be used …
- Take 1 capsule every 8 to 12 hours while symptoms last
- For the first dose you may take 2 capsules within the first hour
- Do not exceed 2 capsules in any 8- to 12- hour period
- Do not exceed 3 capsules in a 24-hour period.”
- Advil: Do not take more than directed. The smallest effective dose should be used …
- Adults . . . take 1 tablet every 4 to 6 hours while symptoms persist
- If pain or fever does not respond to 1 tablet, 2 tablets may be used
- Do not exceed 6 tablets in 24 hours, unless directed by a doctor.”
NAD noted that the labels clearly state that the smallest, or minimum, effective dose for Aleve is one capsule every 8- to 12- hours, not to exceed three capsules in twenty-four hours, for a minimum of two Aleve capsules in a full day. The smallest effective dose for Advil is one capsule every four to six hours, not to exceed six in twenty-four hours, for a minimum of four capsules in a full day. Consistent with past decisions, NAD accepted product labels, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as reasonable support for the durational capacity of Aleve and Advil. NAD determined, based on the approved labels, that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for its claim that “Just 2 Aleve = 4 Advil” as well as for the disclosure “minimum label dosing,” and for the graph at issue.
NAD further determined that that the five broadcast commercials at issue properly limited the comparative claim to the dose and duration of Aleve versus Advil, but did not imply or state that Aleve works better than Advil.
NAD determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for its “pain-free” claim, based on its FDA-approved label. Further, NAD determined that it was unlikely that consumers who use over-the-counter analgesics would expect to experience a complete absence of any pain. The NAD also found that the advertiser established a reasonable basis for its value calculator, based on a minimum daily dose of two Aleve pills versus four Advil tablets.
NAD determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for its “pain-free” claim, based on its FDA label. Further, without any consumer perception evidence demonstrating confusion over the message conveyed, NAD determined that it was unlikely that reasonable consumers who have experience with OTC analgesics would typically expect to experience a complete absence of any pain. NAD found that the advertiser established a reasonable basis for its value calculator, based on a minimum daily dose of two Aleve pills versus four Advil tablets.
Bayer, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company appreciates “the professional handling of this matter by NAD staff and the forum NAD provides for the efficient resolution of competitive disputes.”