The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a leading trade association for the dietary supplement industry, announced in April 2007 that it has initiated a new advertising campaign. This campaign encourages members of the dietary supplement industry to assist in self-regulation efforts by reporting false and misleading advertisements through competitive challenges filed with the National Advertising Division (NAD).1
CRN has partnered with five trade magazines that will run an ad in support of this campaign, beginning in June issues and running through September. The publications Functional Foods & Nutraceuticals, Natural Products Insider, Nutrition Industry Executive, Nutraceuticals World, and Nutritional Outlook will all publish the CRN-designed ad at special advertising rates. CRN will also run one insertion in The Tan Sheet, a leading weekly newsletter for the over-the-counter drug and dietary supplement industries focusing on regulatory matters. The CRN ad urges supplement companies to file a competitive challenge with the NAD of the Council of Better Business Bureaus if they “see a supplement ad that’s misleading, untruthful, or includes claims that can’t be substantiated.” The NAD is the investigative and judicial arm of the advertising industry’s self-regulating body.
“The single greatest threat to our industry results from the outrageous claims made by a few companies that consumers associate with the entire category,” said CRN President and CEO Steve Mister, in a CRN press release.1 “We’re gratified that these publications have joined us in this effort to help clean up our industry’s advertising. Now it’s up to individual supplement companies to take action. Part of being a responsible industry is self-policing those members who push the envelope too far.”
CRN plans to eventually reach out to consumer publications and advertising agencies to ask for their support in taking responsibility for the ads they accept and the ads they produce. The association also plans to distribute fact sheet flyers about the campaign to members of Congress to demonstrate to legislators that the mainstream supplement industry understands the importance of self-regulation.
This new advertising campaign supports the initiative that CRN launched with NAD in September of 2006.2 CRN provided funding to NAD so that NAD could add an attorney to its staff who would work exclusively in monitoring advertising for the dietary supplement product category. An article about this initiative was published in HerbalEGram in November 2006.
- CRN launches advertising campaign urging supplement companies to support NAD self-regulatory program [press release]. Washington DC: Council for Responsible Nutrition; April 30, 2007.
- Cavaliere C. New CRN and NAD initiative to increase monitoring of dietary supplement advertising. HerbalEGram. November 2006;3(11). Available at: http://www.herbalgram.org/browsedev. php?c=CRNNAD. Accessed May 7, 2007.