BBB National Programs Archive

Slim-Fast Foods Company Modifies Disclosure Format in Print Advertising for ‘SlimFast Advanced Nutrition’ Following NAD Inquiry

New York, NY – Aug. 19, 2016 – Slim-Fast Foods Company has said that it has modified the format of a disclosure that accompanied claims made in print advertising for the company’s SlimFast Advanced Nutrition products, following an inquiry by the National Advertising Division.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

It is well settled that where a disclosure is necessary, it must be clear and conspicuous.

In this case, NAD noted that the disclosure at issue in the challenged print advertising appeared in a small white font against a gray background. The disclosure stated:

“*Individual results may vary. Based on the SlimFast Plan (a calorie-reduced diet, regular exercise, and plenty of fluids). Check with your doctor if nursing, pregnant, under 18, following a doctor prescribed diet. © Slimfast.”

In lieu of submitting substantiating evidence, the advertiser advised NAD in writing that it had elected to permanently discontinue the format of the challenged disclosure. The advertiser represented that the disclosure has been modified for the advertiser’s current advertising and now appears in larger black type, in sharp contrast to the gray background.

In reliance on the advertiser’s representation that the challenged disclosure in its current format has been permanently discontinued, NAD did not review the sufficiency of the disclosure on its merits. The voluntarily discontinued disclosure will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended its discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

SlimFast, in its advertiser’s statement, said it “accepts NAD’s decision and represents that the disclosure in the form at issue has been voluntarily and permanently discontinued.”

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.