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Posted April 12, 2013

Zicam Advised Against Using Cold Prevention Claim In Advertising

On April 5, 2013, it was reported that the National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that Matrixx Initiatives, maker of Zicam cold products, stop making claims in its advertising that the product can prevent colds.

These claims include statements describing Zicam as "The Pre-Cold Medicine" and "clinically proven [to reduce the duration of a cold]" and directing consumers to "Take Zicam Now And Go From Pre-Cold To No Cold," as part of the company's "Cold Monster" advertising campaign.

NAD recommended Matrixx clarify in future advertising that the phrase "clinically proven [to reduce the duration of a cold]" applies only to Zicam Rapid Melts, Chewables and Oral mist products, and exclude the statement from other Zicam products which have not undergone the same clinical testing. It also found that while the image of the "Cold Monster" itself did not imply that Zicam prevented colds, the other statements, "The Pre-Cold Medicine" and "Take Zicam Now And Go From Pre-Cold To No Cold," did imply prevention, and should be discontinued.

Matrixx has removed the phrase "concentrated formula" from its Zicam Ultra product but will keep the word "Ultra" in the product's name, after providing evidence that the word accurately conveys the product contains more ingredient than the original product.

The company has also removed the "#1 Pharmacist Recommended" seal from its advertising. NAD recommended that future use of this phrase include the category description "[in] Homeopathic Cold Products."

See ConsumerLab.com's Review of Zinc Supplements for tests of related products.

See Related Warnings:

Zicam Nasal Gel Recalled Due to Potential Bacterial Contamination

FDA Warns of Loss of Sense of Smell with Zicam Nasal Gel/Nasal Swab

Maker of Cold and Flu Supplement Warned For Making Drug Claims

FDA and FTC Warn: Supplements Cannot Prevent, Treat Or Cure Cold And Flu

For more information about NAD's recommendations, use the link below.