Airplus Shoe Insoles

March 20th, 2018

You could say the National Advertising Division (NAD) and Implus, maker of Airplus shoe insoles, got off on the wrong foot.

Maybe it was Implus’ view that claims on product packaging and in internet advertising that its insoles “prevent” and “relieve” foot pain, including pain associated with the foot condition plantar fasciitis, are “common sense claims” for which consumer testing should not be required that ticked NAD off. Or perhaps it was the company’s position that positive customer reviews provide sufficient scientific evidence for a number of health-related claims that irked NAD.

In fact, it was a combination of the two that recently led NAD to recommend that Implus discontinue several comfort, anti-fatigue and pain relief claims that had been challenged by Bayer Healthcare, maker of the competing Dr. Scholl’s line of shoe insoles. Among other things, NAD warned that positive customer reviews may be atypical of the results that most consumers can expect to achieve by slipping Airplus insoles inside their shoes. NAD noted in a release:

NAD’s decision in this case serves as a reminder that anecdotal evidence is not sufficient to support certain types of advertising claims.

Implus, however, chose not to comply with NAD’s recommendations, at which point NAD referred the advertising to the FTC and FDA for further review.

Find more of our coverage on footwear here.

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The National Advertising Division, or NAD, is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. NAD asks advertisers to substantiate or change their claims in advertisements. As part of a voluntary system of self-regulation, however, its recommendations can be ignored by the offending advertisers. In those instances, NAD refers the offender to federal consumer protection agencies.


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