CRN & NAD Celebrate Ten Years

CRN & NAD Celebrate Ten Years of Dietary Supplement Industry’s Highly Regarded, Advertising-Focused Self-Regulatory Program—Program achieves more truthful advertising landscape, demonstrates importance of industry self-regulation


Washington, D.C., June 27, 2016—The Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation (CRNF) and National Advertising Division (NAD) will raise a glass tonight to toast a milestone achievement for the dietary supplement industry’s self-regulatory program on advertising, encompassing ten years of monitoring, reviewing and challenging dietary supplement advertisements. The program is funded through a series of grants from CRNF, and executed by the NAD, a service of the advertising industry administered through the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB). NAD decisions provide guidance to advertisers in how to avoid conveying inaccurate or misleading messages and ensure that consumers have accurate information so they can make better purchasing decisions for themselves and their families.

In celebration of the decade milestone, CRN will host a cocktail reception at the conclusion of the first day of the CRN/ACI 4th Annual Legal, Regulatory and Compliance Forum at The Andaz Wall Street, New York City. 

According to Steve Mister, president, CRNF, “This program is unique in the dietary supplement industry, and in fact, among many industries. Ten years ago, our Board of Directors took a stand to increase self-regulation in advertising for our industry to make our industry stronger and make our consumers better informed. I am proud of our companies’ commitment and encouraged by their ongoing support of this effort, and feel gratified that the program has been embraced by the industry. NAD sets the bar high for self-regulation and our member companies greatly appreciate its work and what that has meant to the dietary supplement industry.”

“Many industry sectors profess their support for truthful advertising, but only a fewlike CRNhave stepped forward to make that a reality,” said C. Lee Peeler, president and CEO of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, which sets the policies and procedures for NAD, and EVP, Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Ten years ago, CRNF took a leadership role in working with us to create a program that would be independent, transparent, and a cornerstone of this industry’s commitment to putting its consumers first. We commend all the companies who have come to the table, either by submitting challenges, or by participating in the review process. There is no question that self-regulatory programs such as this are the cornerstone of a maturing industry, and I’m proud to point to this program as representative of what self-regulation is all about.” 

CRNF has provided grants through 2017, totaling more than $2.1 million since the program’s inception. 

The anniversary, which CRN will continue to highlight throughout the remainder of the year, culminating at its annual conference in October, underscores the program’s many notable achievements, including more than 250 completed advertising challenges over the course of a decade. (A searchable database of decisions from NAD cases is available on the CRN website.) 

Through this initiative, NAD attorneys monitor print, broadcast, infomercial and web-based supplement advertising. In addition, they open cases prompted by complaints from companies and consumers. NAD decisions also provide companies with instruction and guidance for future advertising to help ensure compliance down the road. According to NAD, companies comply with recommendations more than 90 percent of the time; however those companies that ignore NAD guidance are publicly referred to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or other law enforcement agencies. 

Launched in 2006, the NAD program serves as one of the trade association’s foundations of self-regulatory initiatives, and has been praised by FTC staff as “an excellent example of self-regulation.” More information on the NAD program, including information on how to file a competitive claim and a free tool to assist dietary supplement companies in avoiding misleading, non-substantiated or deceptive advertising claims, is available on CRN’s website

Note to Editor: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing 150+ dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and companies providing services to those manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements and food in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as to CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit Follow us on Twitter @crn_supplements and @wannabewell and on Facebook.
About Advertising Industry Self-Regulation: The Advertising Self-Regulatory Council establishes the policies and procedures for advertising industry self-regulation, including the National Advertising Division (NAD), Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), National Advertising Review Board (NARB), Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) and Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program (Accountability Program.) The self-regulatory system is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
Self-regulation is good for consumers. The self-regulatory system monitors the marketplace, holds advertisers responsible for their claims and practices and tracks emerging issues and trends. Self-regulation is good for advertisers. Rigorous review serves to encourage consumer trust; the self-regulatory system offers an expert, cost-efficient, meaningful alternative to litigation and provides a framework for the development of a self-regulatory solution to emerging issues.
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