NAD Recommends Matrixx Discontinue Claims That Products Protect Users from Colds

Following a challenge brought before the National Advertising Division ("NAD"), Matrixx Initiatives, Inc. agreed to discontinue certain advertising claims regarding its Zicam products. Specifically, Matrixx will no longer make claims that imply its products provide "pre-cold prophylactic benefits" (i.e., that consumers would not get a cold at all if they used Zicam products), as the NAD found these claims were unsupported. Based on the NAD's recommendations, Matrixx will also discontinue claims that indicate Zicam products will reduce the severity of a cold. For example, the NAD recommended discontinuing the claims "Don't let the cold monster catch you" and "Don't let a monster of a cold catch you." Matrixx further agreed to discontinue or modify certain overbroad claims that all Zicam products are "clinically proven" to reduce the duration of a cold, as the NAD found such claims should be either limited to the specific cold products for which Matrixx had previously provided substantiation or discontinued in advertising featuring products that were not tested.

Tip: Advertisers are required to substantiate all reasonable interpretations of claims made in advertising, including implied messages the advertiser did not intend to convey. Claims should be specifically limited to those products for which the advertiser has such substantiation.

This tip has been created for information and planning purposes. It is not intended to be, nor should they be substituted for, legal advice, which turns on specific facts.