NAD also recommended that Zarbee’s modify other challenged claims to clarify which ingredients are natural and which are not. The claims in question, which appeared on product packages and online, were challenged by The Proctor & Gamble Company.
Zarbee’s permanently discontinued all consumer testimonials describing the products as “natural” during the proceedings, so NAD did not review these claims.
The vitamins and melatonin in Zarbee’s Naturals products are chemically indistinguishable from their natural counterparts, but are not naturally derived.
NAD concluded that consumers would reasonably expect active ingredients to be natural when the product claims to be “natural,” unless the claim is qualified and the product alerts consumers that essential ingredients in their product are not natural. NAD has thus recommended that the advertiser qualify the claim and disclose the meaning of the word “natural” with respect to its products.
Related: CRN, NAD End Self-Regulatory Program, Encourage Industry to Stay Vigilant ACI Advertising Claims Substantiation Forum to Address Impact of COVID & More FTC Announces Crackdown on CBD ClaimsAnother change: NAD recommended that Zarbee’s modify the claim “Dr. Zak Zarbock… created his own products including handpicked natural ingredients, whenever possible,” as the advertiser did not provide NAD with any evidence that it only used synthetic ingredients in its products when it was not possible to use natural ingredients.
NAD considered messages conveyed by Zarbee’s online advertising as well, looking at references to the ingredients in Zarbee’s Naturals’ products as “handpicked” and “wholesome” and claims such as “Powerful natural ingredients—like dark honey, elderberry, and agave—form the backbone of our products.” The division concluded that Zarbee’s should modify this advertising as well, to make clear that not all key ingredients are natural.
The press release quoted a statement from Zarbee’s, in which the company wrote: “We do not believe our use of ‘Naturals’ is confusing to consumers. Rather, it helps to distinguish our products from those that contain man-made chemical sleep aids, cough suppressants, etc. Nevertheless, we support the self-regulatory process and will take NAD’s recommendations into account in our future advertising.”