CRP upholds complaints (again) about Nurofen “targeted relief”

For a nice depiction of the claims (and their craziness) see:

ABC TV The Checkout: Episode 5



The CRP’s determination is available here. A summary follows:

Complaints 2012-08-010 and 2012-10-024: Nurofen Back Pain, Nurofen Migraine Pain, Nurofen Period Pain, and Nurofen Tension Headache Pain

Advertiser: Reckitt Benckiser (Australia) Pty Ltd

Sections of the Code, Regulations or Act found to have been breached:

Code sections 4(1)(b), 4(2)(a), 4(2)(c), 4(2)(f)


a) to withdraw the advertisements from further publication;

b) to withdraw:

i) any representations that the advertised products target the source of pain or cause of pain;

ii) the representations conveyed by the words “at the first sign of migraine pain, you need fast help from Nurofen Migraine Pain”, “for fast targeted relief from tension headaches”, “for fast, targeted relief from back pain”, and “for fast, targeted relief from period pain”;

iii) the representations that the advertised products or their active ingredients target, travel directly to, or act only on specific sites of the body, such as those conveyed by graphical images of a ball travelling through a maze to the head and a ball acting on a man’s lower back;

iv) the representations conveyed by the use of the descriptive names Nurofen Back Pain, Nurofen Migraine Pain, Nurofen Period Pain, and Nurofen Tension Headache Pain; and,

v) the representations that the products actively or intelligently target sites or areas of pain, such as those conveyed by the use of the words “smart”, “exactly where you need it”, “right where you need it”, and “Nurofen knows this”, in the context of targeting pain or the site of pain;

c) not to use the representations in (b) above in any other advertisement*;

d) where the representation has been provided to other parties such as retailers or website publishers, and where there is a reasonable likelihood that the representation has been published or is intended to be published by such parties, to advise those parties that the representation(s) should be withdrawn; and,

e) within 14 days of being notified of this request, to provide evidence to the Panel of its compliance, including a response in writing that they will comply with the Panel’s sanctions, and where appropriate, supporting material such as copies of instructions to advertising agents or publishers, or correspondence with retailers and other third party advertisers.

Given the current lack of effective penalties for advertising beaches I expect Reckitt Benckiser (Australia) Pty Ltd to ignore (or interminably dispute) the latest CRP determination.

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About Dr Ken Harvey

Public Health Physician, Medical activitist
This entry was posted in Pharmaceutical Promotion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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