February 11, 2011
NEW YORKThe National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has ruled General Mills can support the advertising claim Now Even Better" as it is used on reformulated varieties of Progresso Light soup. The advertising claim was challenged by Campbell Soup Co.
According to the NAD ruling, a claim that a product is better" may be a stand-alone claim or comparative claim, depending on the context in which the claim appears. NAD noted the claim is included on reformulated versions of Progresso Light soups. Campbells argued the claim was an unsubstantiated comparative superiority claim, and consumers could infer that General Mills was comparing its new light soups to either a prior version of the product itself orgiven the history of comparative advertising between the partiesto a competitive soup brand. Campbells also argued, if the claim referred to the previous version of the product, then General Mills should be required to disclose to consumers the specific improvements made in the products.
General Mills said the Now Even Better" claim did compare reformulated soups to a previous Progresso Light soups, and the products were improved by increasing the size of chicken pieces in five flavors of soup, increasing the amount of vegetables in two flavors, improving the quality of beef in one flavor, and decreasing the amount of sodium in five flavors.
NAD determined that the clear, plain meaning of the phrase Now Even Better" was an express reference to previous versions of Progresso Light soups, and the advertiser had provided sufficient evidence to support the claim.
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