Disaster for Actimel, Müller Probiotics, etc?

Good for you, hopefully

Good for you, hopefully

A report in today’s Telegraph has to be the nightmare of every product manager. It says…

“Yoghurt health drinks are at the centre of safety fears after 24 patients died during clinical trials of probiotics, the dietary supplements containing potentially beneficial bacteria.”

Now, if your product is designed to boost health (or immunity), then this is truly slaughtering the very product benefit you aim to substantiate.

This story is close to home for me. In the mid 90s I battled for 6 months with the English advertising standards authority over a TV ad for a “probiotic” product. We wanted simply to state that it works in harmony with your natural defences. No such nonsense they said – prove it. I pulled in my R&D people, we tabled report after report. They wouldn’t have any of it. Our benefit was toned down to “The first live yogurt to contain blah blah”.

No wonder it was a flop. Now let’s see how the others ride this storm…

Alex Woodruff

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