Posted November 9, 2010

Misleading Claims by "One a Day Men's" Products Result in $3.3 Million Settlement

On October 26, 2010, Attorneys General from California, Illinois and Oregon announced a $3.3 million dollar settlement with Bayer Healthcare over the company’s alleged misleading claims that its One A Day Men’s multivitamins reduced the risk of prostate cancer. The Attorneys General alleged that Bayer deceptively claimed its One A Day Men’s multivitamins reduced the risk of developing prostate cancer and that Bayer made these promotional claims even though the company knew or should have known its multivitamins do not decrease the risk of this cancer, and that high doses of some ingredients in the vitamins may actually increase the risk of prostate cancer in some men.

“Consumers rely on statements made by multivitamin manufacturers when making choices about their health,” Attorney General Madigan of Illinois said. “When manufacturers, like Bayer, make marketing claims with insufficient scientific proof behind them, they are misleading consumers. This lawsuit ensures that Bayer must back up its advertising pitches with reliable scientific evidence.”

Bayer’s “Strike Out Prostate Cancer” campaign, in which the company partnered with Major League Baseball to promote the One a Day Men’s products, was highlighted as an example of the allegedly deceptive marketing claims. In that campaign, Bayer used billboards, print and broadcast advertisements, and testimonials from professional baseball players to make implied claims that One A Day Men’s Products reduced the risk of prostate cancer.

Under the terms of the settlement, Bayer is prohibited from marketing its One a Day Men’s products as preventing prostate cancer, or any other disease, unless the claims are based on competent and reliable scientific evidence.