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Chloraseptic Max ads deemed too “strong”

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Prestige Brands should change marketing that touts its oral anesthetic products as "The strongest medicine you can get without a prescription," according to the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Consumers could interpret the slogan used in broadcast and print insert ads for Chloraseptic Max lozenges and spray as a claim of superior pain relief, which "is unsupported by the evidence in the record," NAD said May 27. The spray product qualifies to bear a "maximum strength" claim since its 1.5 percent phenol formulation is the strongest allowed by FDA's monograph, but cannot imply superiority over other sore throat relief products, NAD said. Combe Inc., maker of competitor Cepacol, brought the challenge. Prestige said it plans to "adopt more traditional maximum strength parity claims in the future" and use different language to communicate the products' benefits. The Irvington, N.Y.-based firm previously said it is shifting marketing resources toward Chloraseptic and away from less-profitable brands (1"The Tan Sheet" March 16, 2009, p. 9)
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