NAD Recommeds Flora, Inc., Discontinue Certain Testimonials, Modify Certain Claims For “Udo’s Oil 3-6-9 Blend”

New York, New York – Nov. 14,   2011 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus Claims has recommended that Flora, Inc., discontinue certain testimonials and modify certain performance claims for Udo’s Oil 3-6-9 Blend, a dietary supplement.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed the claims for the product as part of NAD’s ongoing monitoring program.

NAD reviewed performance claims that included:

  • “42% More Endurance* * the Robert Universe 36-Week Elite Strength Athlete Study”
  • “Strength. Stamina. Recovery.”
  • “Athletes around the world are experiencing greater strength, improved stamina and faster recovery using Udo’s Oil.  Now it’s your turn.”

These claims appeared together in a print advertisement depicting a man running over rocks near a mountain lake. 

NAD also reviewed claims presented through testimonials, including:

  • Performance improvements are “real and lasting”
  • “Reduced joint pain, weight loss, improved digestion, faster recovery, clear skin, balanced energy, reduced food cravings and improved performance are all benefits my clients and I have gained from adding Udo’s Oil to our diets.
  • “Lose tremendous amounts of body fat, feel less depressed, sleep better.”
  • “dry itchy patchy skin…disappeared after I put her on two tablespoons of Udo’s every day.”
  • “My skin looked brighter, more refreshed and my skin was even with no acne.
  • My hair was thicker and less dull and my nail beds grew stronger.”

(Full text of decision available to media upon request.)

The advertiser described Udo’s Oil 3-6-9 Blend as a special combination of cold and oxygen free-pressed, unrefined, organic oil derived from certified organic flaxseed, sunflower and sesame seeds to yield a 2:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 essential fatty acids. The advertiser offered as support for its claims as 2009 study entitled “Evaluating The Effect Of A Blend Of Omega-3 And Omega-6 Oils On The Physical Endurance Of High Level Strength Athletes.”

Following its review of the advertiser’s evidence, NAD noted concerns with the study’s methodology. NAD noted that that study’s authors acknowledged that the “number of missing measurements, lack of a control group and failure to blind participants limited the validity of the findings and conceded that the results may be attributed the placebo effect>”

NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the following unsupported claims:

  •           “42% More Endurance* * the Robert Universe 36-Week Elite Strength Athlete Study” 
  •           “performance improvements are real and lasting.” 
  •           “my skin was even with no acne.  My hair was thicker and less dull and my nail beds grew stronger.” 
  •           “I’ve seen my clients: lose tremendous amounts of body fat, feel less depressed, sleep better.”
  •           “[r]educed joint pain, weight loss, improved digestion, faster recovery …and   improved performance are all benefits
  • my clients and I have gained from adding Udo’s Oil to our diets.”
  •           dry itchy patchy skin…disappeared after I put her on two tablespoons of Udo’s every day
  •           “Athletes around the world are experiencing greater strength, improved stamina and faster recovery using Udo’s Oil.

NAD noted that nothing in its decision prevents the advertiser from making claims about general well-being or claims that the ingredient flaxseed oil may help skin conditions. Further, NAD noted that nothing in its decision prevents the advertiser from using testimonials that claim that participants believed they experienced enhanced performance.

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while it “disagrees with some of the conclusions reached, we fully understand the concerns raised by the NAD.  As such, and in the spirit of cooperation, Flora accepts the NAD’s decision in its entirety and will discontinue using the statements and testimonials identified in the decision.”