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Farnam May Alter Flea/Tick Ad Claims

Posted: Nov. 15, 2012, 6:30 p.m. EST

The National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended today that Phoenix-based Farnam Pet Products modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for its Adams Flea & Tick Spot On for Dogs, including statements that the product “starts to kill fleas and ticks in 15 minutes.”
The NAD, an investigative unit of the advertising industry's system of self-regulation, also ruled that Farnam provided sufficient support for certain claims related to the product’s applicator.

All the claims were challenged by FidoPharm, a Yardley, Pa., subsidiary of Velcera Inc. and the maker of PetArmor, a competing product.

 Farnam May Alter Flea/Tick Ad Claims
Adams Flea & Tick Spot On for Dogs contains three active ingredients: etofenprox, (S)-methoprene and piperonyl butoxide.
Farnam will “take the NAD’s recommendations into account in an appropriate way when crafting future advertising," the company stated.

FidoPharm noted that both Adams and PetArmor are topically administered pesticide solutions that, when administered every 30 days as directed, control fleas and ticks on dogs year-round. 

The active ingredients in Adams is etofenprox, which kills fleas and ticks; (S)-methoprene, an insect growth regulator that kills flea eggs by preventing them from hatching and flea larvae by preventing them from molting; and piperonyl butoxide, an insecticide synergist.
The active ingredient in PetArmor is fipronil, which also kills fleas and ticks.

Farnam argued that because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the claim “starts to kill fleas and ticks in 15 minutes,” the New York-based NAD should decline to exercise jurisdiction and defer to the EPA’s expertise in reviewing the underlying scientific basis and approving each of them.

“Deference to regulatory authority is not automatic, and it never completely replaces the obligation of the self-regulation system to exercise its own sound discretion,” the NAD responded.

Farnam's evidence demonstrated that Adams reaches full efficacy seven days after application and “starts to kill fleas and ticks in 15 minutes” after infestation on the seventh day post-treatment, the NAD noted.

Farnam did provide a reasonable basis for a standalone claim that Adams Flea & Tick Spot On for Dogs is the only product to have the Smart Shield Applicator and that the applicator applies the product easily, cleanly and directly to the animal, the NAD added. 

The company also reported that it will discontinue its claims that PetArmor takes “eight times longer” to kill fleas and ticks on dogs.


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