August 20, 2009
NEW YORK—Living Essentials, the maker of 5 Hour Energy, does have substantiation for marketing claims relating to the sugar content of competing energy beverages; however, it will modify the claims to more clearly disclose the basis of comparison. The company participated in an inquiry with the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB), following a challenge filed by Hansen Beverage Co., maker of the Monster Energy drinks, regarding certain comparative claims.
NAD reviewed advertising claims including “5 Hour Energy contains zero sugar and only 4 calories” and “Over 12 teaspoons of sugar and 200 calories in these [Hansen’s Monster] energy drinks”, as well as advertising showing spoonfuls of white sugar being tipped into a Monster Energy can with a voiceover giving the comparative sugar content information.
After its review, NAD determined that despite the difference in can size, both products are packaged for consumption in a single sitting, and that the comparison of the relative sugar content was relevant to prospective consumers. However, it did suggest Living Essentials clarify that according to label directions, the Monster product is marketed for two servings.
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