The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently reminded advertisers that tout the benefits and health-related features of their products to be mindful of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Health Products Compliance Guidance. The NAD wants advertisers to remember that context is important and that consumers may understand products to confer the benefits advertised, so having competent and reliable scientific evidence to support the health benefit is necessary.

The NAD noted the following “Takeaway Tips“:

1. Quality, not quantity, of the research is what matters – multiple unreliable studies ≠ a reliable study.

2. When it comes to the science underlying ingredient claims, the product’s intended use and target population of your product are critical.

  • Studies on an elderly, diseased population are not a good fit for a product directed to a healthy general population.
  • Don’t forget about the dose, formulation, and method of administration: if the studied ingredients do not match the product, the study will be deemed unreliable to support product claims.