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SANDOZ TRIAMINIC "PEDIATRICIAN RECOMMENDED #1" CLAIM "SUBSTANTIATED"

Executive Summary

SANDOZ TRIAMINIC "PEDIATRICIAN RECOMMENDED #1" CLAIM "SUBSTANTIATED" for the OTC brand's liquid cough/cold combination products, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus said Oct. 27. The claim, made on a logo on the products and in ads stating "#1 pediatrician recommended cough and cold brand for five years in a row," was challenged by Dimetapp marketer A.H. Robins. NAD began the inquiry July 27 with a letter to Sandoz Pharmaceuticals. Sandoz is requesting a review by the National Advertising Review Board, NAD's appeal body, of the use of the claim with Triaminic Expectorant and Triaminic DM, and the full five-product line. NAD concluded that associating the claim with the two products "might cause confusion among some consumers." NAD found that Triaminic Expectorant and Triaminic DM are not prominently labeled as relieving both cough and cold symptoms. "Those Triaminic products on which the bold face indication on the labeling does not indicate that it relieves symptoms of both coughs and colds -- i.e., the products designated for 'Cough Relief,' [Triaminic DM] 'Chest and Head Congestion,' [Triaminic Expectorant] and 'Colds and Allergies' [Triaminic Syrup] -- should not bear this claim or the logo or be included in a display of products which are associated with this claim or the logo," the NAD October Case Report states. Sandoz argued that the claim is "appropriate" when used for products with "both a cough remedy (i.e., an antitusive or an expectorant) and a cold remedy (i.e., an antihistamine or a nasal decongestant)." Triaminic Expectorant and DM have those combinations. Sandoz does not display the "#1 Pediatrician Recommended" logo on Triaminic Syrup, which contains no cough treatment. In addition, Sandoz contended that the #1 claim is "appropriate" in ads that display the five main Triaminic products. "That use...is fully consistent with the research that asked pediatricians what brands of over-the-counter cough and cold liquids they recommended," the company asserted. Sandoz provided NAD with studies, each involving at least 150 pediatricians, conducted from 1987 to 1992 by independent research firms that asked which cough and cold liquid the pediatricians recommended most. "Results demonstrated that pediatricians recommended Triaminic for coughs and colds at a statistically significant higher level," NAD's Case Report states. A tracking study also provided by Sandoz indicated that liquids represent 92%-94% of the pediatric cough and cold treatment market. To challenge the Triaminic claim, Robins submitted one survey of pediatricians and two national tracking studies. "The results showed Triaminic was ranked second in the cough category and second in the cold category while the products which were ranked first in each respective category were ranked seventh in the other category," NAD notes. The Triaminic liquid remedy line includes Nite Light and Cold Multi-Symptom as well as the Expectorant, Syrup and DM. Ads containing versions of the "#1 pediatrician recommended" claim have appeared in trade and consumer magazines and on television. Bloom FCA!-New York is the agency of record for Triaminic.
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