After removing tobacco products from its stores and introducing more transparency around beauty campaigns, CVS is now tackling the vitamin aisle. On Wednesday, CVS Pharmacy announced it has implemented a new program in which its vitamin and supplement products have had their ingredients and claims tested by a third-party organization.
Norman de Greve, senior VP and chief marketing officer of CVS, says that there is often a lot of confusion around such products; in many cases potentially harmful active ingredients are not always listed on the bottle, for example. Now, a consumer can visit CVS and find that “everything on those shelves has been tested to make sure they contain the dietary claims they say they do,” says de Greve. “We are trying to say, ‘How can we make this simpler and easier for people?’”
Called “Tested to Be Trusted,” the new initiative tested the 1,400 products of some 152 vitamin and supplement brands with third-party testers including NSF International and the United States Pharmacopeia. CVS started the process nearly two years ago, and found that about 7 percent of the products it sells needed to be changed.
To promote the new standards, the Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based chain is running a new campaign that focuses on its purpose-driven changes, including the removal of tobacco from stores in 2014 and last year’s “Beauty Mark” commitment to more transparent beauty ads. A 30-second spot encourages consumers to “treat” themselves to better breathing, better skin care and better vitamins. “We make it easy to treat yourself well,” a voiceover says. CVS is rolling out around a half-dozen spots in the campaign. The retailer worked with BBDO on creative and UM on media. The spots will run for the next 20 weeks.
The vitamin update follows a report last month in which CVS pledged to no longer do business with any ad agencies that count tobacco or e-cigarette companies as clients.
“We were a corner drugstore—probably a lot of people still think of us as that, which is fine,” says de Greve. “But what we want to be is a place that you can choose to go to find new solutions to take care of yourself.”