As our last blog about Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) claims strove to be focused, we will aim to make this speed of action blog short and sweet.

This has been a popular claim at NAD this year in the over-the-counter (OTC) space. Here, cold medicine giants Pfizer with its Robitussin cold and flu line took on Novartis with its Theraflu product claiming‎ the product “starts to get to work in your body in 5 minutes.” The evidence was clear that the acetaminophen was absorbed into the bloodstream within 5 minutes of taking the product.   The challenger asserted the unsupported implied message was that consumers would begin to experience symptom relief right away.  NAD found the latter.  It is unclear if the words alone would have led to the result. NAD found the imagery in the ads buttressed the quick recovery message (while the advertiser asserted the ad showed a cold ridden person drinking Theraflu, then a stopwatch and “later on,” the person appeared symptom free).

The ad also included a super “refers to the presence of acetaminophen in the bloodstream.” The poor disclosure has had a touch season (cite to operation full disclosure blog) for which it is unclear if there is a meaningful road to recovery.  NAD found it contradicted the main message and was also not sufficiently prominent. NAD added some commentary on this worth sharing. In its view, “consumers do not scrutinize commercials, and particularly supers, the way NAD attorneys do, and a consumer cannot (and likely would not) pause to read the super which would be the best way to read and understand it.”

Wishing you and yours speedy relief from any of winter’s ailments!