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Published on November 29th, 2018

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TummyZen

The National Advertising Division (NAD) can’t stomach the idea of advertising claims that lack competent and reliable scientific evidence. As part of a recent inquiry, it did not hold back in its criticism of a pair of clinical studies the marketers of TummyZen submitted in support of claims that the supplement provides “total heartburn relief,” among other benefits.

For starters, NAD said, rather than test the supplement, the studies tested an ingredient, zinc sulfate, that is not even present in TummyZen, which contains zinc acetate. Moreover, the studies did not evaluate “relief” or “total relief,” NAD said. NAD piled on:

NAD was also troubled by the studies’ small sample sizes and questioned whether the test subjects (healthy young adults) were representative of heartburn sufferers seeking “total” relief for their heartburn.

For all of these reasons, NAD said the studies were “not a good fit” for the claim that TummyZen or the zinc in TummyZen provides “total heartburn relief” and recommended that the statement, which appears prominently on product packaging, be discontinued.

Eli Nutrition, the maker of TummyZen, said it would appeal the decision to the National Advertising Review Board. GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Tums antacids, challenged the advertising with NAD.

Find more of our coverage on supplements 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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