Minor reference to pandemic constitutes implied COVID-19 claim according to recent NAD case

October 14, 2020

One need not explicitly cite COVID-19 in advertising materials to draw the scrutiny of the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs.

One need not explicitly cite COVID-19 in advertising materials to draw the scrutiny of the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs. This was demonstrated when NAD recently challenged an Instagram post from Vitamin Bounty/Matheson Organics LLC for its Elderberry Immune Support. The post read: “[a]s restrictions are gradually lifting, it’s more important than ever to keep your immune system strong. Our Elderberry Immune Support keeps you protected with vitamin C, zinc, elderberries, garlic and echinacea; a powerful immune-boosting combo.”

NAD was concerned that the text implied a claim to treat COVID-19. After Vitamin Bounty did not respond to NAD’s request, the case was referred to FDA and FTC for review, but following the referral, the advertiser responded to NAD and agreed to participate in the advertising self-regulatory forum. Subsequently, Vitamin Bounty agreed to voluntarily discontinue the social media post on Instagram and Facebook.