NARB: 'Zicam, the Pre-Cold Medicine' is not interpreted by the consumer as a prevention claim

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Review Board on Wednesday determined that certain claims made by Matrixx Initiatives for its Zicam Cold Remedy products would not reasonably be understood to mean that use of the products prevents colds.

ProPhase Labs initially challenged several advertising claims for Zicam before the National Advertising Division, an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. NAD recommended Matrixx discontinue certain claims, which the company agreed to do.

NAD found, however, that two claims – “The Pre-Cold Medicine” and “Go from Pre-Cold to No Cold Faster” – would not reasonably be understood by consumers to mean that Zicam Cold Remedy products prevent consumers from getting a cold. 

ProPhase appealed NAD’s finding to the NARB. Following its review, the panel found that the challenged references, as used in the context of the challenged advertising, did not reasonably convey a message that Zicam is effective in preventing colds or should be used by consumers for that purpose.

Matrixx, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “appreciated the panel’s thoughtful review of the appeal of the NAD’s findings regarding Matrixx’s use of 'Pre-Cold' and 'the Pre-Cold Medicine' in its advertising.”

NARB is the appellate unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.