Cold-Eeze: Reduces Duration of Common Cold Symptoms by 42%?

A recent commercial and packaging for Cold-Eeze — those cherry-flavored lozenges with zinc gluconate — claims to reduce the duration of common cold symptoms by 42%.

Cold-Eeze 42% claim

*MOUSE PRINT:

Cold-Eeze asterisk

It turns out that the scientific study on Cold-Eeze that supports the 42% claim was done a quarter of a century ago in 1996 and involved only 50 hospital employees who took the product and 50 who did not. [Full study here.] It seems odd that the company would introduce this new claim now after sitting on this data for decades.

Many people like the product despite the fact that no one can really say for sure that their cold ended more quickly than if they had not taken the zinc drops.

Interestingly, Cold-Eeze has extended its product line to include cold remedies that also supposedly promote immune health and help with fatigue. The asterisk after that claim goes to the most candid of disclaimers:

*MOUSE PRINT:

Cold-Eeze disclaimer

Chobani Exaggerated Protein Content of it’s Complete Yogurt

When Chobani advertised that its “Complete” yogurt products contained up to 25 grams of protein, the makers of Dannon yogurt cried foul. Here is the commercial claim in question:

Chobani Complete claim

*MOUSE PRINT:Chobani Complete 3
It turns out that two of the three products shown in the ad did not have 25 grams of protein per serving. They only had 15 and that distinction was not made clear.

So Dannon filed a formal complaint with the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau. Before NAD could render a decision, Chobani announced that it would stop making the 25 grams of protein claim about its 5.3 ounces yogurt cups, and make clear that the claim only applied to their 10-ounce shake product.

“Up to” claims are inherently misleading because they highlight the best case scenario and ignore the worst case. That’s why Massachusetts advertising regulations, for example, require both the lowest number and the highest number in a range to be disclosed in equal size type, such as “save 10 to 50 percent” rather than “save up to 50 percent.”

Walgreens’ Screwy Vaccine Signup Process

In many states, signing up for a COVID-19 vaccine shot has been nothing short of a nightmare. The systems set up by some states like Massachusetts have been rightly criticized for creating a frustrating frenzy when new appointments are loaded into the system. It is like vying with thousands of others to get that hot concert ticket the minute Ticketmaster goes online with them.

Not to be outdone, Walgreens here has set up a vaccination appointment system that defies explanation. When you first log in with your account information and pass the screening questions, you may be lucky enough to get to the vaccinations available page after you enter your zip code.

Dose 1

So you pick a date for your first dose. Then, unlike any other non-pharmacy system we have seen, Walgreens wants you to pick a date for your second shot. And for days, at least in the Boston area, this is the next screen you saw.

*Mouse Print:

dose 2

What? They canceled your first-dose appointment because they cannot schedule a time for the second one? Because future deliveries of vaccines are so unpredictable, elsewhere it has become common practice to not schedule the second dose until the day you show up for the first dose.

We asked Walgreens if perhaps this was a glitch in their system not even letting people get the first dose on the date they reserved, and whether they are considering changing the system to fill requests for first dose only patients. A company spokesperson replied in part:

As of now, the vaccine scheduler is stable and working as intended… Eligible individuals can make appointments for both first and second doses at the same time…

We wrote back to Walgreens questioning the logic of their system.

The corporate spokesperson responded a couple of days later:

Earlier this week there were several first-dose appointments available in the scheduling system across Massachusetts locations, however, second dose appointments were not available. We resolved the issue by adding second dose appointments for future dates in order for eligible individuals to proceed in making appointments in the most effective manner. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Thank you, Walgreens.

Now it’s your turn. Feel free this week to use the comment section to tell everyone about your experience in making a vaccine appointment, good or bad, at Walgreens or at any other site.