Lifestyle Site ‘Goop’ Says it Will Voluntarily, Permanently Discontinue Claims for Moon Juice ‘Brain Dust,’ ‘Action Dust’ Following NAD Inquiry

New York, NY – Aug. 9, 2016 – Goop, an online lifestyle publication offering “a tight curation of products and content,” said it will voluntarily and permanently discontinue advertising claims made “Moon Juice” dietary supplements, following an inquiry by the National Advertising Division (NAD).

NAD opened its inquiry as part of its ongoing monitoring program and in conjunction with an initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition to expand the review of advertising claims for dietary supplements.

In separate cases, NAD requested substantiation both from the maker of the products, Moon Juice, and from a third-party site, Goop, where the supplements were featured along with the apparent endorsement of the site’s founder, Gwyneth Paltrow.

Regarding its review of the Goop site, NAD noted that the products were featured at Goop earlier this year as recipe ingredients in “GP’s Morning Smoothie.” The description for the smoothie states that “Gwyneth [Paltrow] drinks one of these every morning, whether or not she’s detoxing. Choose your Moon Juice moon dust depending on what the day ahead holds … brain dust before a long day at the office, sex dust before a date, etc.”

Each of the dusts featured in the recipe section is hyperlinked to a separate page on the Goop website where a consumer can purchase the products and the purchasing page features the claims at issue:

  • “Designed to support peak performance, stamina, and longevity, this formula helps regulate vital energy, encourages healthy metabolic function, and maximizes your ability to withstand stress and injury with ginseng, rhodiola, and more”
  • “Made with enlightening herbs like astragalus and gingko, used for centuries by great thinkers and meditators, this adaptogenic elixir is designed to maintain healthy systems for superior cognitive flow, clarity, memory, creativity, alertness, and the capacity to handle stress”

 

NAD noted in its decision that the product efficacy claims on the Goop website and Ms. Paltrow’s endorsement of the products impose an obligation on Goop as a marketer to verify that the products provide the claimed benefits.

“When marketing products for sale, an advertiser has an obligation to ensure that the claims it makes for the product are truthful, accurate, and not misleading. The obligation to ensure that advertising claims are truthful extends beyond the manufacturer of the product to affiliates who market the product. Third-party or affiliate entities who ‘persuad[e] the audience of the value or usefulness of a … product’ engage in ‘national advertising’ under NAD’s Policies and Procedures and are considered themselves to be advertisers for those products,” NAD noted in its decision.

Further, NAD noted, “Goop’s claims about the Moon Juice products amplified the target audience for the products. The advertising marketplace is changing and advertisers are increasingly using third parties, including endorsers, influencers, and affiliate marketers, to reach consumers. It is equally important that such third-party marketing claims be truthful, accurate, and not misleading.”

Goop volunteered to permanently discontinue the challenged claims. Based on its representation that the advertising claims have been permanently discontinued, NAD did not review the claims on their merits. However, the voluntarily discontinued claims will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended their discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

Goop, in its statement, noted that it “accepts the decision of the National Advertising Division and represents that the advertising at issue has been voluntarily and permanently discontinued.”

 

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