NAD affirms Allegra claims; asks Chattem to quantify 'fast-acting'

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Tuesday determined Chattem, maker of the Allegra allergy relief medication, provided a reasonable basis for the claim that “only Allegra combines fast, non-drowsy, 24-hour relief.”

However, the NAD recommended that the advertiser modify the claim to make clear that the onset of action for Allegra is one hour, and recommended Chattem discontinue advertising that suggested the product provided immediate relief. As part of a separate, prior decision, the NAD had ruled that McNeil Consumer Healthcare's Zyrtec had an onset of action of one hour, while Claritin had an onset of action of three hours. “Given that there is sufficient data providing a reasonable basis for a finding that Zyrtec and Allegra have the same onset of action time — one hour — simply put, Claritin is not as fast as Allegra,” NAD noted.

The NAD further recommended that the advertiser modify any future product packaging mock-ups in print advertisements to clearly and conspicuously disclose what is meant by “fast” — that the product starts working in one hour.

The Allegra claims originally were challenged by Schering-Plough Healthcare Products, maker of Claritin.