BBB National Programs Archive
NARB Recommends Clarion Brands Modify, Discontinue Claims That Dietary Supplement ‘Lipo-Flavonoid Plus’ Substantially Reduces, Eliminates Tinnitus
New York, NY – April 12, 2016 – A five-member panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) has recommended that Clarion Brands LLC modify or discontinue certain claims for the company’s Lipo-Flavonoid Plus dietary supplement, including claims made through testimonials, that state or imply that the product substantially reduces or eliminates tinnitus and the symptoms of Ménière’s Disease, a disorder of the inner ear.
NARB is the appellate unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Certain advertising claims published by Clarion Brands for the product, including performance claims and testimonials, were the focus of an earlier inquiry by the National Advertising Division (NAD).
Following its review, NAD recommended that a consumer testimonial be discontinued based on NAD’s determination that the testimonial reasonably conveyed the unsupported message that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus substantially reduces or eliminates tinnitus and other symptoms of Ménière’s Disease. NAD also recommended that Clarion discontinue other claims that reasonably conveyed a message that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus can substantially reduce or eliminate tinnitus. Clarion appealed these recommendations.
NAD further recommended that Clarion either discontinue its claim that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus is “#1 Ear Doctor Recommended for relief of ringing in the ears,” or modify the claim to make it clearer that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus is recommended as an adjunct therapy for tinnitus and Ménière’s Disease. Clarion also appealed that recommendation.
After considering the totality of the evidence in the record, the NARB panel found there is sufficient support for a claim that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus may provide relief for some consumers who suffer from tinnitus.
However, the panel did not believe the record reasonably supported the stronger advertising claims made by Clarion, including:
- Express claims that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus “helps ease the ear ringing that characterizes tinnitus.”
- Express claims that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus “can help provide tinnitus relief.”
- Implied claims that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus enables consumers to “quiet the ringing” or “relieve the ringing.”
- Implied claims that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus provides significant or complete relief from tinnitus and other symptoms of Ménière’s Disease
The panel recommended that Clarion discontinue claims that reasonably imply that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus provides significant or complete relief for ringing of the ears. The panel noted that its decision does not preclude Clarion from truthfully advertising that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus may provide relief for some people who suffer from tinnitus.
The panel also recommends that Clarion discontinue its claim that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus is the #1 recommendation of doctors for relief of ringing in the ears. This decision does not preclude Clarion from truthfully advertising that Lipo-Flavonoid Plus is the #1 recommendation of doctors as an adjunct therapy for tinnitus or Ménière’s Disease.
Clarion, in its advertiser’s statement, took issue with the NARB’s finding that survey data supporting the claim that Lipo-Flavonoid is the #1 Ear Doctor Recommended treatment for tinnitus was “ambiguous”. “Despite disagreement on this and other issues and out of respect for the self-regulatory process, Clarion will accept the Panel’s decision and take its recommendations into account in future advertising and labeling,” the company said.