US: POM Wonderful fights back against FTC
POM Wonderful's new ads take an attacking stance
POM Wonderful has launched a new advertising campaign that fires a broadside at its perceived tormentors in the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The ads highlight parts of a report released by the FTC on Monday after the commission successfully sued Pom Wonderful over what it called false and unsubstantiated claims the pomegranate drink could prevent or treat disease. In the court case, Pom Wonderful was ordered to halt all misleading claims.
However, only 2% of the 600 claims cited by the FTC were found to be misleading, prompting Pom to go on the attack.
“We will continue to share the valuable health information of our products with consumers, and have decided to share with consumers these benefits using direct quotes from the FTC Administrative Law Judge's ruling," said POM co-founder Stewart Resnick.
One of the new ads, launched yesterday (24 May), shows a Pom Wonderful bottle with a noose around its neck, though the rope has been cut on the other end. The ad carries the headline “Cheat Death” and has a quote from the FTC judge's report, saying, “Natural fruit products with health promoting characteristics.”
POM said the FTC had oversimplified the ruling and also highlighted its failure to force the company to adopt the same rigorous testing process on its products as used on pharmaceuticals.
“In this new advertising campaign, POM is encouraging consumers to be the judge," a statement from the company said.
"The true significance of this ruling is that companies like POM Wonderful can share valuable scientific information and research with consumers; information that gives consumers the opportunity to make healthier choices.”
The FTC told USA Today in a statement yesterday that it was not going to comment on POM's new ads "because one or both parties are likely to appeal certain aspects" of the judge's decision.
The USA Today report said POM Wonderful's ads hinged on the difference between “benefits” from drinking pomegranate juice and whether it prevented or treated diseases.
The new campaign consists of full-page advertisements in newspapers including the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, as well as websites, home-page takeovers of CNN, the Huffington Post, and the homepage and health pages of the New York Times online.
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