Truth in Advertising Progress
Posted Tuesday, March 1, 2011

(Washington, D. C.)  The Natural Products Foundation self-regulatory efforts addressed 60 individual advertising cases in 2010. In 50 of the cases, the organizations responsible for the advertisements received explicit warning letters from the Foundation.

The Foundation’s Truth in Advertising program is a unique industry initiative targeting non-compliant dietary supplement advertisements that claim to treat or mitigate disease. Using the guidelines laid out for the industry under the FD&C Act (as amended by DSHEA), the Foundation helps advertisers, retailers, suppliers, and publishers to present accurate, honest advertising.

By engaging directly with organizations that have problematic advertising practices, the Foundation aims to eliminate any advertisements that undermine the reputation of the natural products industry. A large majority of companies receiving notifications from the Foundation have responded in a positive fashion, correcting problems identified by NPF’s Legal Advisory Council.

"We are extremely encouraged by the feedback and responses we have received for the Truth in Advertising program," said Deb Knowles, Executive Director of the Foundation. "Many of the problems we face have simple remedies, and most companies are happy to adjust and revamp ads when necessary. Their willingness to do the right thing makes our job that much easier. The Foundation wants to make sure that good, honest supplement companies aren't capsized by misguided claims and promotions."

To achieve better industry practices, the Foundation works closely with federal regulatory agencies to bring their attention to advertisers who continue to run illegal and harmful advertising. During the 2010 Truth in Advertising campaign, the Foundation notified the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of 12 companies who were out of compliance and unwilling to amend their practices. "We identify cases of non-compliant dietary supplement advertising and attempt to assist the companies involved in correcting their ads," said John Gay, President of the Natural Products Foundation. "However, when companies refuse to bring their ads into compliance, direct regulatory action needs to be taken."

The Truth in Advertising Program has received support from industry insiders and federal representatives. A broad range of educational information for dietary supplement advertisers is provided on the Foundation’s website to assist companies in need of guidance: Truth in Advertising Resources.

About Natural Products Foundation: NPF is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit foundation organized to stimulate and support research, education and knowledge regarding dietary supplements, nutritional foods, and related products, with the overall objective of advancing consumer awareness and understanding. To help encourage and maintain a national standard of honest and direct advertising, the Foundation has developed a simple way for publishers and advertisers to show their support for responsible advertising practices: The Truth in Advertising Pledge


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