Advertisers Contacted by NPF Truth in Advertising Program Now Compliant
Foundation (NPF) representatives met with Richard Cleland of the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) along with Gary Coody and others of the US Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) on May 20th to present documentation regarding
13 non-compliant advertisers who have failed to amend their marketing materials
after being contacted by NPF’s Truth in Advertising program. NPF requested that the regulatory agencies
take action against those companies.
Marc Ullman, of Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman LLC, NPF Legal Advisory Council
Chairman, led the meetings. He was
joined by NPF President John Gay and NPF board member David Brown, CEO of
LifeVantage Corporation. The meetings
focused on the recent progress of NPF Truth in Advertising efforts. Over
the past 12 months, the Truth in Advertising initiative has mailed 77 warning
letters to companies marketing dietary supplements making drug and disease
claims. A large majority of advertisers
contacted under the Truth in Advertising program have brought their language
exceptionally good meetings with both FDA and FTC,” Ullman reported. “Both
agencies expressed their appreciation for the Foundation’s efforts and
underscored the importance of our self-regulatory initiative. Significantly, both agencies advised us that
they would review the material we provided relating to non-compliant
advertisers who had either failed to respond or otherwise make sustentative
efforts to come into compliance following receipt of our TIA `warning letters.’
The Truth in
Advertising Program works to educate publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, and
retailers to help ensure that the information presented to consumers concerning
dietary supplements is truthful and not misleading. The Truth in Advertising review process targets
non-compliant dietary supplement ads that claim to treat or mitigate
disease. The companies responsible for
these ads are contacted and informed as to how their marketing materials are
illegal. The majority of the time those
companies bring their promotional materials into compliance. When they refuse or fail to amend their
practices, NPF passes the information to FDA and FTC.
NPF staff continues
to monitor the advertisements of companies who have made drug and disease
claims in the past. One of the companies
referred to the regulatory agencies had briefly amended their ad materials
after contact from the Truth in Advertising program, and then reverted to
making non-compliant drug claims.
“The goal is a
level playing field for the responsible core of the industry, as well as making
sure fringe companies aren’t misleading consumers,” said NPF Executive Director
The Truth in
Advertising review process is initiated by NPF staff members under the
supervision of the NPF Legal Advisory Council.
The current Legal Advisory Council members are Mr. Ullman (Ullman,
Shapiro & Ullman), Jackie Kuler (Gronek & Associates, Chicago), and
Nicholas Licato (Nexgen Pharma, General Counsel).
NPF Truth in Advertising
efforts addressed 60 individual advertising cases in 2010. In 50 of the cases, the organizations
responsible for the advertisements received explicit warning letters from
NPF. During the 2010 Truth in
Advertising campaign, NPF notified the FTC of 12 companies who were out of
compliance and unwilling to amend their practices.
The Natural Products Foundation is chartered as a not-for-profit 501
(c) (3) Corporation. The mission of NPF
is to promote and facilitate research and education related to natural products
for the benefit of consumers and industry.
For more information please visit naturalproductsfoundation.org.