NAD Recommends Similac Discontinue “#1 Pediatrician Recommended Brands” Claim in Resolved Fast-Track SWIFT Case

For Immediate Release 
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs 

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org  

New York, NY – October 2, 2020 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs, in a Fast-Track SWIFT challenge brought by Mead Johnson & Company, recommended that Abbott Nutrition discontinue the claim “#1 Pediatrician Recommended Brands” due to a lack of a clear and understandable disclosure. The challenged claim appeared in online and social media advertising for Similac branded cow’s milk formulas, and the advertiser intended to include it on Similac product labels. 

NAD Fast-Track SWIFT is an expedited process designed for single-issue digital advertising cases. This case was appropriate for the NAD Fast-Track SWIFT process because the issue was limited to whether the advertiser’s substantiation was a good fit for the challenged claim.  

NAD determined that as currently presented, the disclosure “based on combined recommendations of Similac and EleCare” does not, in a clear and understandable manner, disclose that the basis for the advertiser’s “#1 Pediatrician Recommended Brands” claim is based on combining pediatrician recommendations for the various traditional infant formulas (Enfamil, Gerber Good Start, Parent’s Choice, and Similac) with pediatrician recommendations for amino acid formulas (Alfamino, EleCare, Neocate, and PurAmino).  

Therefore, NAD concluded that the claim was not a good fit for the evidence presented and recommended that it be discontinued. 

NAD is now accepting three types of claims for consideration in the streamlined SWIFT process: 

  • The prominence and sufficiency of disclosures in influencer marketing and native advertising; 
  • Misleading pricing and sales claims; and
  • Misleading express claims that do not require review of complex evidence or substantiation. 


Two additional Fast-Track SWIFT challenges were filed in August but were transferred to Standard Track. The decisions in those cases, when released, will indicate that the challenge was originally brought in Fast-Track SWIFT.

Learn more about the NAD Fast-Track SWIFT challenge process and how to file a challenge. 

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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org. 

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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