Novartis to tout 'PPA-free' Triaminic SoftChews

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Novartis Consumer Health on Nov. 13 launches a TV effort from Jordan McGrath Case & Partners/Euro RSCG, New York, for its Triaminic SoftChews that features on-screen text asserting the product is "PPA free." The move comes after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration earlier the week of Nov. 6 banned the substance common in many over-the-counter cold/cough medicines and diet products. SoftChews has never included PPA. Novartis likely won't be the only marketer to assert that its product is PPA-free, either currently or after a reformulation process for products with the ingredient. Novartis is reformulating products in its Triaminic liquid line that had PPA, and a spokeswoman said the company will likely flag its ads for the liquids once the product with PPA is off all shelves.

Separately at Novartis, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus recommended the marketer halt the claim that its prescription motion sickness drug Transderm Scop is "clinically proven more effective" than Pharmacia & Upjohn's Dramamine. Pharmacia challenged the claim that was used in a direct-to-consumer ad campaign. Novartis will appeal the decision on grounds that the FDA has approved the claim. An NAD spokesman said the group agrees the FDA has approved the claim, but not for something as widespread as direct-to-consumer advertising. Grey Worldwide, New York, handles Transderm Scop.

Copyright November 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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