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FTC CLAMPS DOWN ON GERITOL

Published on .

The Federal Trade Commission's crackdown on drug ads got a substantial boost this month in 1967 as a circuit court of appeals upheld its decision requiring affirmative disclosures in ads for J.B. Williams Co.'s Geritol.

Under the order, Geritol ads talking about "tired blood" must also state that most people who have these symptoms are not suffering from iron defficiency anemia, and that for these people Geritol has no benefit. The court's support of the disclaimer in ads is a landmark success for FTC in overcoming a series of decisions limiting the government's ability to require unfavorable disclosures in drug ads. None has been as sweeping as the present one backing what FTC is requiring in Geritol ads.

The Geritol case has been battled at FTC since 1963, when the commission charged the "tired blood" campaign was deceptive because most people who have the symptoms stressed by Geritol are suffering from nervousness and other disorders that will not be helped by using the product.

Editor's note: At the time the largest FTC compliance case, FTC and Williams

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