NuWave Voluntarily Modifies Certain OxyPure Air Purifier Claims Following National Advertising Division Inquiry into Implied COVID-19 Messages

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

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – April 13, 2021 – Following an inquiry by the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs, NuWave LLC modified claims on its website and in a YouTube video which conveyed implied messages that its OxyPure Air Purifier is effective against COVID-19.

Through its routine monitoring program, NAD challenged the following express claims for the OxyPure Air Purifier:

  • The claim on the advertiser’s website, “Remove airborne coronavirus by 99.999%*” with a bottom-of-the page disclaimer stating “*The University of Minnesota tested the OxyPure’s removal of the porcine respiratory coronavirus, a surrogate for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19”; and 
  • A YouTube video advertisement which touts the product as removing “virtually all indoor air pollutants” and notes, in relevant part, that “[a]sthma and allergies are at an all-time high. Sleeping problems are epidemic and carry their own health risks. Airborne pathogens, viruses, bacteria and mold are not far behind” (simultaneously showing a map of the world with the words “AIRBORNE VIRUSES” and lines originating from China to various cities around the world showing the spread of “airborne viruses”). 

 

NAD was concerned that consumers who viewed the advertiser’s website would reasonably take away the message that OxyPure Air Purifier is effective in killing 99.999% of COVID-19 without seeing the disclosure that testing of the product was on a coronavirus surrogate. NAD was similarly concerned that the challenged YouTube video communicates that the OxyPure Air Purifier is effective in removing airborne pathogens and viruses, and that the visual of the world map conveys the implied claim that the product is effective against COVID-19. 

Health and safety concerns are a top priority for NAD’s monitoring efforts, with particular attention focused on express or implied claims that advertised products can protect consumers against COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic last year, both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission have issued hundreds of warning letters to companies making claims about their products’ ability to treat or prevent COVID-19.

In its response, the advertiser disagreed with NAD and defended its express claims about its product’s efficacy on a coronavirus surrogate. However, it agreed to modify its website advertising to state: “OxyPure is Calculated to Remove 99.999% of Coronavirus Surrogate from the Air in Areas up to 1,200 Square Feet in 6 Hours!* which is qualified by a clear and conspicuous disclosure directly underneath the claim, stating that “SARS-COV-2 was not used in the study conducted by the University of Minnesota for the efficacy of NuWave OxyPure.”

The advertiser also agreed to reach out to the third-party featuring the NuWave video on its YouTube channel to request its removal and stated that it would modify the video to remove the frame which features the aforementioned map and the onscreen and audio reference to "airborne viruses" to avoid conveying the unsupported message that OxyPure Air Purifier is effective in killing 99.999% of COVID-19.

NAD appreciates both of these actions, as well as the advertiser’s commitment to avoid making any express or implied claims that promote its product’s ability to protect consumers against COVID-19.

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.

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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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