NAD Finds Peak Life Can Support Certain Claims For “Somnapure” Dietary Supplement

New York, New York – March 17, 2011– The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that Peak Life, Lcc, modify certain advertising claims for “Somnapure,” a dietary supplement promoted as a sleep aid.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed advertising for the product as part of its ongoing monitoring program and in conjunction with NAD’s initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition to expand NAD’s review of dietary-supplement claims.

NAD examined claims for Somnapure that appeared in print advertising and on the product label. NAD also reviewed claims at appeared at www.healthheadlines.com, a Website owned by the advertiser.

Claims at issue included: 

  • Somnapure’s superior formula contains herbal ingredients such as Chamomile and Passionflower, which have a calming effect on the body, in addition to melatonin.”
  • “This supplement is gentle but effective; it helps you get back into a healthy sleeping routine.”
  • “Somnapure’s unique sleep blend will help you fall asleep easily, sleeping through the night, and wake up feeling completely refreshed.”
  • “Fall Asleep Faster.  Stay Asleep Longer.  Wake Up Refreshed.  Try Somnapure.”
  • “Together, this scientifically formulated, intelligent blend of high quality ingredients is what makes Somnapure effective and non-habit forming.  Somnapure’s sleep blend includes melatonin, L-Theanine, valerian extract, lemon balm, hops extract, chamomile flower and passion flower.”
  • “Somnapure’s unique sleep blend will help promote a calm and relaxing sleep.”
  • “Wake up feeling refreshed, energetic and free of grogginess or negative side-effects.”

(Full text of decision available to media upon request.)

The advertiser described Somnapure as a dietary supplement designed to help a person fall asleep and obtain restful sleep. The advertiser asserted that the product contains Melatonin, Valerian extract, Lemon Balm extract, Hops extract, Chamomile flower extract, Passion flower extract and L-Theanine.

NAD found that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for claims touting the sleep benefits of several of the ingredients in Somnapure, including melatonin, valerian, and hops, as well as the calming effects of several of the ingredients, including chamomile, lemon balm and passionflower. Overall, NAD found that the advertising is clear to tout the benefits of these ingredients in Somnapure, e.g., “Somnapure’s superior formula contains herbal ingredients such as Chamomile and Passionflower, which have a calming effect on the body… .”

However, NAD found that the advertising contained certain elements that suggest that the product will work like a sleeping pill. While the evidence presented by the advertiser suggested a sleep benefit associated with several of the ingredients in Somnapure, including melatonin, valerian and hops, the benefits were observed when these ingredients were taken regularly, rather than from taking a single dose.

NAD recommended that the advertiser modify its advertising to clearly convey the message that the claimed benefits of the ingredients in Somnapure were achieved from a regular, consistent program of supplementation with these ingredients.    

NAD noted in its decision that the advertiser’s Website, www.healthheadlines.com, is presented as an independent site offering various health news, with links at the top to “Home,” “Healthy Living,” “Diet & Exercise,” Parenting & Pregnancy,” and “Mental Health.”

In its review of the Website, NAD noted that the site featured information on sleep, a discussion of natural sleep supplements, links that facilitated the purchase of Somnapure and the following statements:

  • “Our top pick of sleep supplements is Somnapure, a new product from the scientists at Peak Life.”
  • “It’s the number one choice for a safe and effective sleep aid.”

The advertiser maintained that the Website clearly and conspicuously discloses Peak Life’s connection, and makes clear that the Somnapure advertisement is, in fact, an advertisement. In support of its argument, the advertiser cited a disclosure near the top of the page that states, “HFM Marketing, LLC sponsors this website, and its parent company distributes Force Factor, Peak Life, and Stages of Beauty. Writers are compensated by HFM Marketing, LLC.” The advertiser also argued that the word “Advertisement” is included at the top of each web page, further disclosing that healthheadlines.com is an advertisement.

Following its review, however, NAD found that the Peak Life fails to make clear that visitors to the site are viewing advertising, not third-party independently generated health news, and fails to adequately disclose that the site is owned and operated by the advertiser itself. NAD recommended that the advertiser take further steps to clearly and conspicuously disclose these material connections.

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it would “make appropriate adjustments to the format and presentation of certain claims consistent with the NAD’s recommendations.  We value and support industry self-regulation, and we welcome the NAD’s decision regarding advertising for the sleep-aid supplement Somnapure.”