Midol Paying $375,000 to Settle Case Over Ad Claims

From Associated Press

The nation’s largest manufacturer of over-the-counter menstrual relief medicine must pay $375,000 to settle charges that it made unsubstantiated advertising claims.

Sterling Drug Inc. reached agreement Tuesday with the Federal Trade Commission concerning a 1985 complaint that eventually encompassed advertising for all but one of the company’s products.

The agreement “is without admission of any wrongdoing,” said Terry Kelley, spokesman for Sterling Drug Inc., which makes Midol brand products.

“Sterling will continue to manufacture and market the Midol brand products,” he said, adding that all the questionable ads were halted by March.


The FTC said Sterling had violated a 1985 order prohibiting product performance claims unless a company has “competent and reliable evidence for those claims.”

The complaint said Sterling ran certain ads for Original Formula Midol and Maximum Strength Midol for Cramps from March, 1985, to January, 1986, and in April, 1988, that claimed or implied one of the ingredients was a muscle relaxant for menstrual cramps that would quickly help relieve muscle contractions.

“The ingredient in question has been removed from the product,” according to Sterling.

Also cited were ads for Maximum Strength Midol PMS which claimed “total” or “complete relief” for the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.


The FTC also said the company had no scientific evidence that Original Midol Multi-Symptom Formula and Maximum Strength Midol Multi-Symptom Formula relieved menstrual water-weight gain.