NAD refers Mead Johnson to FTC


NEW YORK The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Tuesday referred advertising for Mead Johnson Nutritionals’ Enfamil Lipil infant formula to the Federal Trade Commission for further review, following NAD’s third compliance review.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, initially recommended in April 2008 that Mead Johnson modify or discontinue certain claims for the product or clarify the claims to assure that consumers are provided with all pertinent information. NAD examined advertising claims for the product following a challenge by Abbott Nutrition, a manufacturer of Similac brand infant products. 

NAD recommended then that Mead Johnson make clear that Enfamil Lipil has not been shown to outperform Similac Advance with respect to mental and/or visual development. Further, with respect to a consumer-directed coupon that featured a chart inviting consumers to “compare the differences” between Enfamil Lipil and Similac Advance, NAD recommended that the advertiser either discontinue this comparative advertisement, or modify it by removing the comparison to Similac Advance.

 Since its initial inquiry, NAD has opened three compliance reviews related to the same or similar advertising claims, including reviews in June 2008, November 2008 and February 2009.

In the most recent compliance proceeding, NAD again found that the Enfamil Lipil advertising did not  comply with NAD’s decision, NAD stated. NAD noted in its decision that the “self-regulatory process cannot function properly when advertisers state, on the one hand, that they respect the process and will comply with NAD’s decision, and then do the opposite. Accordingly, NAD has no choice but to refer this matter to the appropriate government agency for possible law enforcement action pursuant to section 4.1(B) of the NAD/NARB Procedures.”

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