Nestlé and FTC settle deceptive ad claims

WASHINGTON: Nestlé and the FTC are communicating their positions on the settlement surrounding FTC charges of deceptive advertising dating back to fall 2009.

WASHINGTON: Nestlé and the FTC are communicating their positions on the settlement surrounding FTC charges of deceptive advertising dating back to fall 2009.

In light of a settlement announced this morning, Nestlé has agreed to drop recent advertising for children's drink Boost Kid Essentials in response to FTC allegations that the brand made deceptive claims about the product's health benefits.

The FTC issued a multimedia news release this morning, including a video of the ad containing the claims the FTC challenged.

Betsy Lordan, public affairs specialist at the FTC, told PRWeek in an e-mail: “We are seeing more and more foods marketed on the basis of the health benefits they provide, so we are looking at these claims to make sure they are not misleading and are backed up by sound science.”

She explained that ads that are considered unsubstantiated in traditional media are also considered so in social media, according to FTC guidelines that were updated last year.

The ad claimed the product would reduce the risk of colds, flu, and other upper respiratory tract infections.

Nestlé's HealthCare Nutrition division responded with an e-mailed statement: “The agreement with the FTC – which involves no admission of wrongdoing or monetary payment – will allow Nestlé HealthCare Nutrition to continue to advertise Boost Kid Essentials Nutritionally Complete Drink as providing complete nutrition for kids ages 1 to 13.”

The statement continues by saying “there is no dispute” that the product "advances children's nutrition," and it provides a hotline for concerned parents and consumers.

The settlement is part of the FTC's first case challenging advertising for probiotics, and the agency's announcement is in the form of its first multimedia news release, confirmed Lordan.

Nestle declined to comment further.

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