NAD Refers Vitamin Bounty to FDA and FTC for Claims that Elderberry Immune Support Protects Against COVID-19
For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs
703.247.9330 / firstname.lastname@example.org
New York, NY – August 19, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs has referred advertising claims made by Vitamin Bounty/Matherson Organics, LLC ("Vitamin Bounty") for its Elderberry Immune Support to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for review. The advertiser did not respond to NAD’s request to provide substantiation for its claims.
Through its routine monitoring program, NAD challenged Vitamin Bounty's Instagram post for Elderberry Immune Support with the text:
“[a]s restrictions are gradually lifting, it’s more important than ever to keep your immune system strong. Our Elderberry Immune Support keeps you protected with vitamin C, zinc, elderberries, garlic and echinacea; a powerful immune-boosting combo.”
NAD determined that this post conveyed the implied message that Elderberry Immune Support protects users against COVID-19.
NAD noted that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA have both stated that there are no approved vaccines, drugs, or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent COVID-19. Both the FDA and FTC have issued dozens of warning letters to companies making claims about their products’ ability to treat or prevent COVID-19. Health and safety concerns are a top priority for NAD’s monitoring efforts, with particular attention currently focused on advertising for dietary supplements and other products claiming to treat COVID-19.
NAD was disappointed that the advertiser did not participate in the self-regulatory process, despite repeated outreach attempts. In light of the advertiser’s failure to provide a substantive response to NAD’s request for substantiation for its claims, NAD has referred the matter to the FDA and FTC for possible enforcement action.
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About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD), a division of BBB National Programs, provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.
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