DISPLAY ADVERTISING

National Advertising Division Refers Advertising for PLx Pharma's Vazalore to FTC After Compliance Review

National Advertising Division | December 23, 2021

The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs has referred advertising claims made by PLx Pharma, Inc. to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for review and possible enforcement action after the company declined to accept NAD's recommendations to modify certain claims for its Vazalore immediate-release aspirin product.

In Case #6912, NAD recommended, among other things, that PLx Pharma:

  • Modify the claim "Vazalore has up to 5X greater absorption than enteric coated aspirin" to avoid conveying the message that the claimed difference in absorption related to superior clinical efficacy and disclose that the reported results were limited to diabetic, obese subjects.
  • Discontinue the claim "The Miracles of Aspirin Fully Realized."
  • Discontinue the claim "Better gastrointestinal safety" (or modify it to convey the limited message that Vazalore causes fewer erosions and ulcers in the first week of treatment than traditional immediate release aspirin).
In PLx Pharma's advertiser's statement it agreed to comply with NAD's recommendations and incorporate them in updates to its company website and development of Vazalore's marketing campaign.

Thereafter, the challenger, Bayer Healthcare LLC, asked NAD to open a compliance inquiry based on concerns about advertising on PLx Pharma's website directed to healthcare professionals (HCP) and a television commercial. In a compliance matter, NAD must determine whether the advertiser has made a bona fide, good-faith effort to comply with NAD's recommendations.

Although NAD determined that some new advertising claims were not appropriate for review in a compliance matter because they were not previously reviewed by NAD or were monadic performance claims, a few others were substantially similar to claims challenged in the underlying proceeding. Therefore, NAD considered whether these new claims fully comply with NAD's recommendations.

Television Commercial
Regarding PLx Pharma's television commercial, NAD determined that, in context, the claim "Aspirin Made Amazing" was substantially similar to the claim NAD recommended be discontinued in the underlying challenge, "The Miracles of Aspirin Fully Realized." NAD noted that both phrases reasonably convey the unsupported message that Vazalore provides superior cardiovascular benefits or gastrointestinal safety. Therefore, NAD recommended that Vazalore modify its commercial to avoid conveying this message.

Consistent with the underlying decision, NAD noted that nothing precludes PLx Pharma from:

  • Making a properly limited claim based on the clinical study results that the Vazalore 325 mg aspirin causes fewer erosions and ulcers in the first week of treatment than traditional immediate release aspirin or from touting that it provides a new delivery system; or
  • Using the "Aspirin Made Amazing" tagline to highlight truthful attributes that make Vazalore different from other products provided, however, the context does not overstate its performance benefits.

Advertising Directed to Healthcare Professionals

NAD noted that it appreciates PLx Pharma's efforts to create a gated site for HCPs separate from its consumer-facing website.

In the underlying decision, NAD recommended that the advertiser modify the claim "Vazalore has up to 5x greater absorption than enteric coated aspirin" to avoid conveying the message that the claimed difference in absorption related to superior clinical efficacy and disclose that the reported results were from a limited study population, diabetic, obese subjects. In the compliance inquiry, NAD considered whether the advertiser's disclosure of the limitations of its clinical study, as referenced on its HCP-facing website, namely the title of the study, its characteristics including the study's population, and finally the results, complied with this recommendation. NAD determined that it did not and, therefore, recommended that the disclosure concerning the 5x absorption claim clearly and conspicuously reference the limited population of the clinical study.

Further, NAD determined that claims on PLx Pharma's "Features and Benefits" page convey a comparative safety message as to competing traditional release aspirin. Consequently, NAD recommended that the advertiser modify this advertising to make clear the limitations of its study (i.e., that Vazalore causes fewer erosions and ulcers in the first week of treatment than traditional immediate release aspirin).

While the advertiser made modifications following the original challenge, they have declined to make additional modifications as NAD requested. As a result, NAD is referring this matter to the appropriate government agencies for review and possible law enforcement action.

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.

About BBB National Programs:
BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division:
The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.

Spotlight

Part 1/2 - Marketing
Claire Mas, Head of Digital Training at music:)ally lets us know how to manage social media. With a focus on Facebook and Twitter she gives us her best tips and advice on building up a steady fan base, posting the right content and much more.

Spotlight

Part 1/2 - Marketing
Claire Mas, Head of Digital Training at music:)ally lets us know how to manage social media. With a focus on Facebook and Twitter she gives us her best tips and advice on building up a steady fan base, posting the right content and much more.

Related News

ADVERTISER PLATFORMS

MGID Launches Interactive Rich Media Ads, Helping Advertisers Increase Ad Attention and Engagement

MGID | November 15, 2022

MGID, the global advertising platform, has announced the launch of interactive rich media ads across its portfolio of premium publishers, driving effectiveness for advertisers through increased audience engagement and attention. MGID’s interactive rich media format will allow consumers to engage with ads by dragging and tapping the screen, revealing additional perspectives of an image and extra content. Enriched with all the benefits of MGID’s existing ad formats, including high-quality native placement, intelligent contextual targeting and brand safety, this new format will further facilitate publishers, advertisers and consumers to engage with creative in a more meaningful and positive way. According to eMarketer projections, US spend on rich media ads is set to increase by 21.8% in 2023, rising from over $88 billion this year to over $107 billion next year. By 2026, it’s estimated this figure will nearly double to $160 billion, highlighting its huge benefits for both the buy and sell sides. Madi Bachar, VP of Sales at MGID, says: “As digital marketers continue their transition from viewability to attention as the metric of choice, we’re thrilled to offer a progressive ad format that helps advertisers stand out among competitors." Madi Bachar, VP of Sales at MGID, says: “As digital marketers continue their transition from viewability to attention as the metric of choice, we’re thrilled to offer a progressive ad format that helps advertisers stand out among competitors. With budgets under more scrutiny than ever, our interactive rich media ads will ensure creative leaves a lasting impression on target audiences, reducing wasted spend and boosting ROI. Offering engagement rates up to six times higher than static display ads, they’re more effective at grabbing the attention of audiences and ultimately increasing the impact of advertising." About MGID MGID is a global advertising platform helping brands reach unique local audiences at scale. It uses privacy-first, AI-based technology to serve high-quality, relevant ads in brand-safe environments. The company offers a variety of ad formats, including native, display and video to deliver a positive user experience. This enables advertisers to drive performance and awareness, and publishers to retain and monetize their audiences. Every month, MGID reaches 900 million unique readers, with 200 billion ad impressions, across 25 thousand trusted publishers. For more information, please visit: www.mgid.com.

Read More

SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING

SGG Media Launches Crowd Funding Round on StartEngine.com

SGG Media, StartEngine.com | September 02, 2022

SGG Media - A Division of Sports Gambling Guides, Inc., the up-and-coming sports advertising agency, is continuing its plans to turn the advertising world on its head by opening up a $5 million round of private funding on leading US investment platform, StartEngine.com via the SGG Media portal: https://www.startengine.com/sports-gambling-guides Like so many things the company has done during its short but meteoric rise to prominence over the past few years, turning to one of America’s largest crowd funding sites to generate further investment in SGG Media is something of an industry first. It will give private investors the unique opportunity to buy into a sports gambling-related business from just $250 while helping SGG Media continue to grow. With StartEngine.com having already helped other start-up businesses raise $50 million in private funding, SGG Media is confident of launching their $5 million offering on the platform – with this amount further complimenting the $3.25 million the group has already funded in the past 15 months. The fact that SGG Media has ripped up the traditional funding playbook and made investment in the company possible for private individuals online should perhaps not come as a huge surprise to anyone in the sports marketing industry – after all, this is a young company that has always done things differently. Having recognized the cost-prohibitive and largely unquantifiable nature of conventional TV, print and radio advertising, SGG Media set out on a mission to disrupt the sports affiliate marketing space by instead harnessing the power of social media to reach a whole new audience of modern sports fans. From this simple but pioneering starting position, SGG Media has gone on to amass a vast network of over 1,300 “micro-sports influencers” – knowledgeable and engaged content creators who can deliver laser-focused messaging and promotions to a combined audience of 25 million avid sports fans. The group has since partnered with some of the largest companies in the sports betting and daily fantasy sports industries, with these organizations all recognizing the importance of connecting with a new breed of fan that’s consuming sports info via Twitter, Instagram, and other forms of social media. Troy Paul, Co-Founder and President of SGG Media, said: “We’re very excited to be taking investment in SGG Media online on the hugely successful crowdfunding platform, StartEngine.com. It’s perhaps the first opportunity for private investors to show support for a sports gambling-related company. Troy Paul, Co-Founder and President of SGG Media, said: “We’re very excited to be taking investment in SGG Media online on the hugely successful crowdfunding platform, StartEngine.com. It’s perhaps the first opportunity for private investors to show support for a sports gambling-related company. “To put it plainly, if you believe in the future of online sports gambling and the future of social media advertising, this is a great opportunity to get involved with our company from as little as $250. We strongly believe the crowdfunding round will prove to be another major success for SGG Media and will enable the group to continue its trailblazing work at the cross section of sports and social media.”

Read More

DISPLAY ADVERTISING

Good-Loop Launches Purpose-Powered CTV Ad Format That Rewards Viewers' Attention With Donations To Charity

Good-Loop | October 28, 2022

Purpose-led ad platform Good-Loop today launched a new CTV ad format that rewards viewers' attention and time with a free donation to charity. Advertisers can buy the new watch-to-donate format across various CTV channels using Good-Loop's purpose-powered ad wrapper. Once the ad has been played, it generates a free donation to a charity, funded by the brand. Formats include pre, mid and post-roll. The new CTV ad unit also includes a QR code, which viewers can scan to drive through to the Good-Loop's Impact Hub, where they can find out more details about the campaign and the charity partner. They can also see how much has been raised in real-time and understand the real world impact of the funding. Participating charities include the Eden Reforestation Project, Love The Oceans and Black Minds Matter. CTV viewership is booming. eMarketer forecasts there will be 109.3 million households with a CTV by the end of 2022, which equates to 83.6% of U.S. households, while 40% of adults watch videos using CTV devices every day (source: Leichtman Research Group). Good-Loop's new CTV format gives advertisers access to this rapidly growing, highly-engaged audience in a way that drives brand purpose and delivers significantly better ad performance and ROI. Good-Loop's purpose-powered ad formats - which drive brand engagement by converting people's attention to ads into funding for good causes around the world - on average drive a 33% higher engagement rate, 50% higher completion rate and 4.5X higher ad recall than the rest of the industry - as well as building significant brand love, trust and affinity. Ryan Cochrane, COO, Good-Loop, said: "CTV viewership is exploding right now. However, increased competition means brands are finding it increasingly hard to get noticed by this rapidly expanding global audience. TV ads don't normally reward viewers for their time and attention. Good-Loop's new CTV ad format does. It enables TV viewers to make a donation to a good cause simply by watching an ad. "For consumers, rather than passive viewers, it means their precious time and attention is truly rewarded and helps to fund a good cause. For brands it's a way to do good at scale, while also standing out among the ever-growing crowd of brands tussling for CTV viewers' well-earned attention." "For consumers, rather than passive viewers, it means their precious time and attention is truly rewarded and helps to fund a good cause. For brands it's a way to do good at scale, while also standing out among the ever-growing crowd of brands tussling for CTV viewers' well-earned attention." The new watch-to-donate unit - bought on a Cost Per Completed View (CPCV) or CPM basis - is the latest ad format from Good-Loop that harnesses the value of consumer attention to do good at scale. Good-Loop, a Certified B Corporation, is on a mission to make the connection between brands and consumers more meaningful by delivering respectful ads that deliver real social impact, while also driving significant business and brand uplifts for advertisers. The advertiser receives more meaningful brand engagement, while the consumer gets to do good for free. The charity receives 50% of the ad revenue. The company has already raised £5M for charities around the world. To find out more about Good-Loop's new CTV format, click here. About Good-Loop Good-Loop is a purpose-led advertising platform that's on a mission to make advertising better for consumers, brands and the planet. The B Corps-certified company builds turnkey products for advertisers to do good at scale. Good-Loop's carbon-neutral advertising formats drive engagement by converting people's attention into donations for good causes around the world. The company's proprietary Green Media Technology also enables advertisers to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of their digital advertising. The company, which has offices in London and Edinburgh, is on a mission to make the connection between brands and consumers more meaningful by delivering respectful ads that bring real social and environmental impact, while also driving significant business and brand uplifts for advertisers. The company has raised more than $6M for charities such as Save the Children, WaterAid, Make-A-Wish, the NSPCC and WWF. Clients include L'Oreal, Nike, Unilever, Levi's, Adidas, Volvo and Mondelez. In February 2022, the company closed a Series A funding round of $6.1M, led by New York-based investment fund, Quaestus Capital Management (QCM), with additional backing from Scottish Enterprise, impact investor SIS Ventures and European ad tech fund First Party Capital, bringing total investment into the ad tech for good platform to $8.2M (£6m) since it was formed in 2016.

Read More