No Clean Bill Of Health For Rite Aid's '#1 Doctor Recommended' Claims
Rite Aid discontinues “#1 doctor recommended” and similar claims promoting OTC drug, dietary supplement and other health and wellness brands when National Advertising Division reminds firm that retailers cannot rely on suppliers' assertion of accuracy about claims but must have their own substantiation.
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Consumer health brands with ads in doctors’ offices rank high in credibility among consumers and doctors, noted panelists in a recent CHPA-sponsored webinar. Doctors are significantly more likely to recommend brands advertised in their offices, and 73% of consumers are likely to purchase a brand their doctor recommended within one week, according to studies.
“A lot of research casts doubt on the effectiveness of disclosures,” says FTC official Richard Cleland. FTC will also zero in on “up-to,” “doctor recommended,” business-to-business, immunity and weight loss claims.
Procter & Gamble ads for Align probiotic supplement meet the National Advertising Division's high standards for making "doctor recommended" claims, the Council of Better Business Bureaus division says in a Sept. 14 release. NAD says it "closely scrutinizes these types of claims and requires highly reliable supporting evidence as substantiation" because doctor recommended claims "carry a great deal of weight with consumers." NAD found an independent survey by Wolters Kluwer adequately supports the claim "Align is the #1 gastroenterologist-recommended probiotic supplement that helps you build and maintain a stronger, healthier digestive system." The watchdog group notes P&G does not and should not say doctors recommend the product for specific symptoms. NAD also questioned claims that Align is "clinically proven" to protect against five signs of digestive imbalance. P&G volunteered to discontinue the claims - a move NAD says is "necessary and proper.