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Posts Tagged ‘POM Wonderful’

America’s Most Misleading Product Claims

POM WonderfulWe recently told you about the FTC’s crackdown on POM‘s “wonderful” health claims. But POM is by no means the only player in the how-far-can-we-push-this ad game. Now, via 24/7 Wall Street, we bring you a list of America’s most misleading product claims in recent memory (the list is theirs, the comments are ours).

1. Topping the list (surprise, surprise), is POM Wonderful and its promises that consumers could literally “cheat death” by sipping pomegranate juice out of a neat looking bottle. While the juice has been shown to provide some health benefits, the FTC found that POM’s claims were not substantiated by two randomized controlled trials — as required by law before such health claims can be made — and were therefore misleading and deceptive. But don’t feel too duped, America; we weren’t the first to be intrigued by pomegranates. Just ask Persephone.

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Branding Fail: FTC Unimpressed by POM’s ‘Wonderful’ Health Claims

POM WonderfulIf you, like us, liked the thought of making your body a veritable antioxidant-fueled, superhuman powerhouse simply by drinking delicious POM juice out of a neat-looking bottle, we’re sorry to burst your bubble.

POM Wonderful, which came under fire in May for using “false or misleading” claims about the health effects of its pomegranate juice drink, has lost its battle with the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC found that Pom made deceptive claims in 34 ads and promotional materials — several more than in the original May ruling, which cited 19 offending spots. Some of the no-nos cited by the FTC included POM’s claims that its juice could treat or prevent heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.

The new ruling bans POM from making claims any of its products are “effective in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of any disease.”

Don’t be too disheartened, though; studies do suggest that drinking pomegranate juice regularly can have positive impacts on your health, including reducing LDL-cholesterol in blood and lowering the level of systolic blood pressure–and studies measuring its effects on other ailments are in the works. It’s just not the holy grail of panaceas that ads like the one above would have you believe.

Now the question: How much will this ruling damage POM’s reputation? And how can the brand control the damage done?