New York, NY – July 23, 2014 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that Nature’s Way Brands, LLC, discontinue the claim that its “Alive!” vitamin products, including “Alive! Women’s Energy,” “Alive! Men’s Energy,” “Alive! Women’s 50+,” and “Alive! Men’s 50+ Multivitamins,” are made with “26 fruits and vegetables.”
However, NAD determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for its claim that Alive! multivitamins have “superior potency – 100%+ daily value of 20 vitamins/minerals.”
NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The claims at issue were challenged by Bayer HealthCare, LLC, a manufacturer of a competing line of products, Bayer One-A-Day multi-vitamins.
Challenged claims include:
- “Made with 26 fruits and vegetables”
- “There’s nothing like feeling Alive!”
- “Nothing beats feeling Alive!”
- “Alive! is nutrition you can feel.”
- “Get More from Your Multi-Vitamin. A Lot More”
- “Superior Potency – 100%+ daily value of 20 vitamins/minerals.”
NAD also considered whether the advertising claims implied that taking Alive! multivitamins will result in a tangible, physical effect or immediate benefit.
The claims at issue were made in print, broadcast and internet advertising and on product packaging and the advertising featured large drawings and images of multiple fruits and vegetables.
The products contain 50 mg of powered juice from fourteen different fruits and 50 mg of powdered juice from twelve different vegetables. NAD noted that it is undisputed that these blends, which the advertiser described as being made from juices, are not equivalent to eating whole fruits and vegetables.
Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its claim that Alive! multivitamins are “made with 26 fruits and vegetables.”
NAD noted that nothing in its decision prevents the advertiser from more accurately claiming that Alive! multivitamins contain its powdered juice blends, as long the advertiser avoids conveying the unsupported message that the vitamins and minerals are sourced from fruits and vegetables or that Alive! multivitamins provide the nutritional equivalent of eating whole fruits and vegetables. Should the advertiser continue to use depictions of fruits and vegetables on its packaging, NAD recommended that the advertiser add a clear and conspicuous disclaimer in close proximity to the images indicating that Alive! multivitamins are not made with whole fruits and vegetables.
NAD determined that the net impression of the advertiser’s television commercial conveyed the unsupported net impression that Alive! multivitamins will induce an energy response similar to consuming a stimulant like caffeine. NAD recommended that the advertiser modify its commercial to avoid this unsupported message.
NAD further recommended that the advertiser discontinue its claim “Alive! is nutrition you can feel” because, in conjunction with the energy message that Alive! has high potency B-vitamins for energy, a consumer could reasonably take away the message that the unsupported message that consuming Alive! multivitamins will provide a palpable burst of energy.
Finally, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its claim “Get More from Your Multivitamin. A Lot More” because there is no evidence in the record that the B-vitamins in excess of the recommended daily value provides any additional health benefit.
NAD determined that the advertiser’s claims “nothing beats feeling Alive!” and “there’s nothing like feeling Alive!” were puffery because consumers were unlikely to interpret them claims as objectively provable claims that Alive! multivitamins will cause consumers to feel more alive.
NAD further determined that the advertiser had provided a reasonable basis for its claim that Alive! multivitamins have “superior potency – 100%+ daily value of 20 vitamins/minerals.”
Nature’s Way, in its advertiser’s statement, said it disagreed “that its advertising misrepresented in any way the fruit and vegetable content of the Alive! products.”
“The NAD breaks with its precedent in requiring an advertiser to establish an ingredient’s specific nutritional benefits before being able to promote the presence of the ingredient through a ‘made with’ claim. While Nature’s Way is disappointed with this aspect of the NAD’s decision, it respects the self-regulatory process and will take the NAD’s decision into consideration in future advertising,” the company said.