Advertising Standards

 

 

 

Introduction

As publishers of magazines and online paid content/media serving the natural products industry and its customers, New Hope Network has established minimum standards for advertisements and paid sponsored content/marketing appearing in its publications, websites and presented at events. Henceforth, and throughout this website “advertisement” shall mean to include print/digital ads as well as any online and event sponsored content/marketing programs. 

Statement of Purpose

With these standards, it is New Hope Network’s Our goal is to enhance public health and safety, support industry self-regulation, and foster the responsible growth of our industry. We present these standards in a spirit of cooperation with current industry efforts to ensure quality and integrity. We also believe these standards will increase consumer confidence in products advertised in our publications and help consumers make educated choice.

Focus of New Hope Network's Advertising Standards

These standards cover four areas of focus:

  1. Product Safety
  2. Product Ingredients
  3. Product Claims
  4. Advertising Methods/Techniques

Standards 

These "Standards" are the minimum requirements which advertisements in all New Hope Network publications must meet. If any advertising standard is in conflict with an applicable government regulation, the government regulation will take precedence. 

Working with the Industry

New Hope Network views these standards as part of the larger industry effort designed to improve the health of the American people, to ensure the accuracy of information provided, and the safety and integrity of the promoted product. We intend to work with industry manufacturers, distributors, brokers, retailers, advertising agencies, trade associations and other organizations in a mutual effort to accomplish these goals.

Comments, Suggestions and Concerns

This is a working document. Advertisers are encouraged to review the entire document. Placement of advertising in our print/online publications or sponsored marketing programs online or at our events represents your agreement to participate in our Advertising Standards Program. We want to emphasize that this document is a work in progress, open at all times to industry comment and review.We encourage comments, suggestions and concerns from industry members and groups because it is our intention to provide standards that are fair, reasonable, concise and understandable. These standards will be updated and refined as necessary and will be appropriately revised to reflect the dynamic regulatory environment. Please submit all questions or comments to IN WRITING to New Hope Network, Standards Department, 5541 Central Avenue, Suite 150, Boulder, CO 80301 or email us at [email protected].

Implementation Plan

Advertisers are responsible for knowing and complying with all standards.

New Hope Network reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any advertisement for inclusion in any of its publications or sponsored content/marketing programs.

Unless New Hope Network perceives a situation that truly compromises consumer safety or jeopardizes the integrity of our company or the industry, we will encourage advertisers to make any necessary corrections and make certain they have ample time to do so. New Hope Network will strive to collect and review the contents of all advertisements, but we cannot guarantee that every potential deviation from our standards will be identified and communicated to advertisers. Please feel free to contact the New Hope Standards staff if you feel an advertisement in a New Hope publication is not in compliance with the Advertising Standards. Standards will be updated and refined as necessary, and advertisers will receive automatic updates.

These standards apply to advertisements promoted through New Hope Network only. Although New Hope Network seeks to operate its Advertising Standards Program in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, promotion of an advertisement New Hope Network does not serve as a guarantee that a governmental or regulatory agency will not take action against a particular advertisement under that agency's own authority. In addition, these standards do not constitute an approval system nor does any review by the New Hope Standards team represent a full legal review.

  1. Advertising material will be reviewed by New Hope Network from the point of view of the reasonable consumer.
  2. Advertisers whose materials are deemed out of compliance will be notified. Lack of notification for noncompliance does not automatically signify compliance with New Hope Network's Advertising Standards.
  3. The content of each ad will be considered on a case-by-case basis. New Hope Network looks at both express and implied claims in advertising, so it is important for advertisers to include information that is needed to keep the ad from being deceptive.
  4. Advertisers are solely responsible for responding within the established deadlines for compliance.
  5. Preapproval of advertising material will be required of new advertisers not currently in compliance with established standards. Any advertiser may be asked to submit materials intended for placement in any of our publications for preapproval, solely at the discretion of New Hope Network. 
  6. As this document is further evaluated and refined, New Hope Network will keep advertisers advised of any changes.

We believe that upholding these standards will ultimately benefit our readers, our advertisers and the industry. If we and our advertisers work together to create even higher levels of reader trust, we will surely see increased sales of natural products and an increased likelihood of continued self-regulation for our industry.

I. Product Safety

Purpose: To ensure the safety of products and services promoted through New Hope Network.

Standard I.A. Directions and Warnings

  1. Products or services advertised must be safe as promoted for intended use.

Standard I.B. Child Safety

  1. Products advertised or marketed to appeal to children must have appropriate cautions or warnings to prevent misuse by children.
  2. Products that are unsafe or inappropriate for use by children should not be marketed in a manner that is targeted toward children.

II. Product Ingredients

Purpose: To ensure all ingredients are listed honestly, potencies are true, origins are accurate, appropriate consumer cautions and warnings are made, and dietary benefits can be easily identified. Note: Advertisements may not include prohibited products and/or ingredients such as e-cigs or vapes, artificial sweeteners, etc. Please refer to the Ingredients Standards for these additional details.

Standard II.A. Quantitative Potency Statements / Disclosure of Active Ingredients

  1. Products advertising a specific amount of a dietary ingredient or a specific potency (with the exception of homeopathic products) must be tested to ensure that statements are accurate. Documentation of such testing should be available at the request of a New Hope Network representative.
  2. Potency terminology must be easily understood by a lay person with one exception: Homeopathic products may declare potency or dilution using methods outlined in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States.
  3. Substantiation for standardized potency statements must be made available at the request of a New Hope Network representative.
  4. Laxatives, stimulants and bronchodilators should be clearly identified in advertising.

Standard II.B. Basis of Formulation

  1. All advertised homeopathic products must comply with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States and be in accordance with the FTC’s Enforcement Policy Statement Regarding Marketing Claims for Over-The-Counter Homeopathic Drugs
  2. Products formulated using a specific philosophy should be identified. Example: "A traditional Chinese formula." 
  3. Products advertised to be "ancient" formulas should have documentation to support the claim, and contain only those ingredients originally included in the "ancient" formula. 
  4. Ancient formulas combined with modern ingredients should disclose these modifications to the original formula.

Standard II.C. Natural Flavors and Essential Oils

  1. If the name of a fruit, spice, essential oil, or other flavor or fragrance is part of a product title, then that product must contain that substance. If it does not, a disclaimer must appear directly under the product name.
  2. If the product contains only the essence of a flavor, then the word "flavored" should be an integral part of the product's description.
  3. Essential oils not extracted from a plant should be described as "artificial" or "synthetic."
  4. Descriptors such as "fragrance" or "essence" may not be adequate.

Standard II.D. Common Names

  1. Product ingredients listed in an advertisement must be described by their common or usual names, except for homeopathic products which must be labeled with the Latin binomial.

Standard II.E Endangered Plants and Animals

  1. Advertisements of products consisting of or containing any ingredients derived from threatened or endangered plant or animal species are not recommended in any publication of New Hope Network.

III. Product Claims

Purposes:

To ensure the truthfulness and accuracy of product statements.

To ensure substantiation and traceability of product statements.

To promote thorough understanding and knowledge of products and product statements.

To promote equal evaluation and comparison of like products.

To preserve the integrity and meaning of legitimate statements such as "organically grown," "cruelty free," "recycled" and "recyclable."

Standard III.A. Substantiation Of Health Benefit or Nutrient Content Statements

  1. Advertisers must have substantiation of health benefit statements, whether express or implied or contained in product names. Adequate substantiation, including, but not limited to, copies of published scientific studies, with journal name, date, volume, etc. must be provided at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
  2. A bibliography of research will not generally be adequate, unless it is accompanied by the above documentation.
  3. Advertisers must provide substantiation of nutrient or ingredient content claims, which may consist of a certificate of analysis or analytical results from a qualified testing laboratory.
  4. Testing must follow good laboratory practices including method validation, calibration and confirmation by an independent (FDA- registered if possible) laboratory.
  5. Advertisers are encouraged to provide and have available substantiation of all health benefit statements or ingredient content statements to any inquiring reader. 
  6. All testing to validate health benefit statements or ingredient content statements should be performed by an independent, certified laboratory with published good laboratory practices.

Standard III.B. Superlative Statements

  1. Superlative statements should only be made if they are true and not misleading. Advertisers should have substantiation of such statements and must provide it at the request of a designated New Hope Network Representative. Example: Superlative statements include: "best in the world," "best product in the U.S.," "only the finest herbs," "only the purest water," "the only," "the most potent," "the most effective."

Standard III.C. Personnel Or Process Statements

  1. Individuals presented as doctors must have a full and accurate title such as N.D., M.D., Ph.D., D.Ed., O.M.D. Such individuals must disclose details of their education and training at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative. 
  2. Titles and initials must be stated clearly and, if not commonly known, must be spelled out or explained. 
  3. Statements about facilities, staff, quality control procedures, manufacturing processes or testing must not be overstated. Proof of such practices or test results must be supplied at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
  4. Statements about institutions of higher education must be truthful, not misleading and should disclose the following information: 
    • The accrediting agency/agencies of the institution program stated. 
    • Whether the accrediting agency/agencies are recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. 
    • If the degree or credentials offered are recognized by other institutions of higher education.
    • Whether the degree or credential qualify the recipient to take state board exams in states where licensing is required.

Standard III.D. Health Benefit Statements

  1. Product advertisements should not claim to diagnose, mitigate, treat, cure or prevent any diseases including, but not limited to, cancer, heart disease, AIDS, diabetes or Alzheimer's disease.
  2. Product advertisements making or implying benefit statements for the above mentioned diseases must do so in language that clearly defines the benefits and follows current FTC policies. 
  3. Substantial scientific data, to be determined at the discretion of New Hope Network, will be required to support a benefit statement pertaining to such diseases. The data, if published, must include journal name, date, volume, etc.

Standard III.E. Organic Statements / Third Party Certifications

  1. "Organic" must be used truthfully in all statements.
  2. All organic production statements must be in compliance with applicable state and federal laws. 
  3. Advertisements claiming "certified" organically grown or processed must have on file in their records the appropriate certification documents. Such documentation must be available at the request of a New Hope Network representative. 
  4. Advertisements claiming a product or ingredients are organically grown but do not have a third-party certification must state the following, in writing, at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative: 
    • Who determined the product or ingredients to be organic?
    • Which organic law or standard is used?
    • Do all the processing facilities that handled the product comply with that law or standard? 
  5. Blanket statements such as "all ingredients are organically grown or wild-crafted" must be documented. Information supporting such statements must be available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
  6. All advertisements bearing registered third-party seals and trademarks for organic, gluten-free, and Non-GMO must have a current registration in their records with the respective certifying agency. A current registration certificate must be provided at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
  7. Advertisers should provide substantiation of organic, gluten-free, or Non-GMO statements at the request of any inquiring reader.

Standard III.F. Pesticide Free Statements

  1. Advertised claims involving "pesticide free," "unsprayed" etc. must be documented. Information supporting such statements must be available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.

Standard III.G. "No" and "Free" Statements

  1. "Absolute" terms describe the amount of nutrient in one serving of food. When these terms such as "No," "low," "high," "lite," "free," and "lean" are used, they must comply with the FTC Policy Statement on Food Advertising and the FDA's definitions for nutrient content terms. This can apply to any characterized nutrient content claim statements as well.
  2. Such statements must not be deceptive and must fully disclose relevant facts. Example: A statement of "no salt added" is deceptive if the product contains a high amount of sodium from hydrolyzed vegetable protein. "No oil" is deceptive when the product is naturally high in fat such as peanuts.
  3. Products advertised to be free of ingredients with a particular activity must disclose the presence of ingredients with similar activity. Example: Products that contain no caffeine, but do contain guarana. 
  4. Such statements must be substantiated with documentation available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
  5. If a product is said to be free of a substance that actually remains in residual amounts, the residual amount should be disclosed.

Standard III. H Cruelty-Free Statements

  1. Products advertised as "cruelty free" and "not tested on animals" should comply with criteria established by such animal protection organizations as PETA and NAVS
  2. Documentation of "cruelty free" and "not tested on animals" statements should be available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.

Standard III.I. "Green" Statements

  1. "Recycled" and "recyclable" statements must be truthful and comply with applicable parts of FTC Guides for the use of Environmental Claims and EPA regulations.
  2. "Recycled" and "recyclable" statements should be accurate and supported by a network of recycling centers in the U.S.
  3. “Compostable”, “Bio-Degradable”, “Sustainable” “Regenerative” statements should be substantiated with documentation available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative. GUIDELINE: Recycled Statements

Standard III.J. Charitable Contribution Statements

  1. Charitable contribution statements must be supported by documentation and made available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.

Standard III.K. Statements Involving Testing

  1. Test results referred to in advertisements must be made available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
  2. Testing statements must be significant and relevant, and not confusing or deceptive. 
  3. Statements and conclusions made about test results must be logically derived from and supported by test data. 
  4. Photos and data derived from tests, including stylistic or artistic renditions must be accurately and objectively labeled and interpreted.
  5. Advertisers are encouraged to provide test results at the request of any inquiring reader. 
  6. Advertisers should disclose the source of funding for any tests cited

Standard III.L. Disallowed Advertisements

  1. The following product advertisements are prohibited in any publication of New Hope Network:
    • Alternatives to street drugs
    • Recreational euphoriants/stimulants
    • Sexual stimulants/enhancers New Hope Network evaluates all advertisements as a whole, including text, product names and images used. New Hope Network allows advertisements for products that support natural sexual function, and reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any company or product for inclusion in its publications, on a case-by-case bases, products that claim to enhance sexual pleasure or endurance.
    • Remedies for nuclear, biological, or chemical contaminants 
    • E-cigarettes, nicotine-delivery devices, vape/vaporizer devices and devices that are intended for smoking cessation. 
    • New Hope Network strictly prohibits the exhibit, advertising and promotion of products that claim to protect against, detect, prevent or treat nuclear, biological or chemical contaminants.

IV. Advertising Methods/Techniques

Purposes:

To ensure understanding and traceability of all advertised products.

To promote equal evaluation and comparison of like products.

To ensure guarantees are fair and honored.

Standard IV.A. Names and Addresses

  1. Product advertisements should include the full name of the manufacturer or distributor, complete address, phone number and website.

Standard IV.B. Use of Surveys

  1. Advertisers citing survey statistics and drawing conclusions from those surveys must have in their records the following information: 
    • Methodology of survey 
    • Who conducted the survey 
    • The date the survey was conducted 
    • A written offer explaining how to obtain a copy of the survey.
  2. The above information must be made available at the request of a New Hope Network representative.
  3. Survey results must not be misrepresented.
  4. It is recommended that the following information should be made available to any inquiring reader:
    • Selection criteria for survey population
    • Number of people surveyed
    • Margin of error of the survey
    • Source of funding for the survey.

Standard IV.C. Testimonials & Endorsements

  1. Quotes must not be misrepresented by being taken out of context. 
  2. Endorsements by consumers must represent what the typical experience of consumers would be, not the experience of just a few customers. Simply stating that "Not all consumers will get these results" or "Your results may vary" is not enough. 
  3. Endorsement quotes must cite the speaker, date and source of the quote. All consumer and expert endorsements should follow the FTC Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements.

Standard IV.D. Use of Disclaimers

  1. Advertisers should not use fine print disclaimers to contradict other statements in an ad or to clear up misimpressions that the ad would leave otherwise.

Standard IV.E. Use of Photos and Illustrations

  1. Photos and illustrations may not be deceptive or misleading. 
  2. Photos used in an advertisement that depict any aspect of a product's processing, manufacture or test must be of the manufacturers' facility, or accurately labeled with the name of the facility pictured and its relationship to the exhibitor's product. 
  3. Before/after and comparison photos must be used in the following manner: 
    • Include a caption stating the time of the first photo and the time of the second photo.
    • Exposure and print techniques must be identical for each photo. 
  4. Photos and illustrations should not contain additional misleading features or characteristics.

Standard IV.F. Use of Art and Technical Terms

  1. Artistic or contrived terms used in advertisements must be understandable. 
  2. The use of a term must not differ from its commonly accepted meaning.
  3. A coined term or descriptive phrase should not be used to imply one products' superiority over another solely by virtue of the use of that coined term or phrase.

Standard IV.G. Use of Comparison and Negative Advertising

  1. All comparison and negative advertising must comply with FTC policies. FTC defines comparison advertising as that which "compares alternative brands on objectively measurable attributes or price and identifies the alternative brand by name, illustration or other distinctive information." 
  2. Comparison and/or Negative statements about companies or products should be thoroughly documented and such documentation made available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
  3. Data cited should be made available on request to any inquiring reader

Standard IV.H. Use of Guarantees

  1. Guarantees made in an advertisement must be easily understandable, must not be misleading, and must state whether additional terms and/or conditions apply. Advertisements should follow the FTC Guides for the Advertising of Warranties and Guarantees. 
  2. Companies offering guarantees must honor the guarantee.

Standard IV.I. Use of Information

The advertiser is responsible for the accuracy of all information present in the advertisement.

Advertisers are encouraged to provide:

  1. Information that is primarily educational and helps to better understand the product. 
  2. Information that states product limitations and encourages an integrated approach to wellness using a variety of techniques. 
  3. Information from an impartial third party. 
  4. Information about the cultural context of use or philosophical basis of formulation. 
  5. Information which addresses cultivation techniques and ingredient and product processing methods.6. Information that explains technical terms and cites references for any statements made

GUIDELINE: Standard IV.J. Ethical Considerations

Advertisers are requested to adhere to ethical considerations in areas including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Racism 
  • Sexism 
  • Sexually explicit materials 
  • Animal cruelty 
  • Decorum 
  • Environmental concerns.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION on governmental regulations that apply to advertising, please refer to the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov or refer to the following specific guides:

Dietary Supplements: An Advertising Guide for Industry. 

Environmentally Friendly Products: FTC’s Green Guides

The FTC’s Endorsement Guides