BBB National Programs Archive

Fifth Generation, Maker of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Says It Will Discontinue Advertising Claims Challenged by Absolut

New York, NY – Oct. 18, 2017  – Fifth Generation, Inc., the maker of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, has said it will voluntarily, permanently discontinue advertising claims made in print advertising in and on product labels that were challenged before the National Advertising Division (NAD) by the Absolut Spirits Company.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Absolut asserted that the challenged claims, which appeared in Wine Enthusiast magazine, should be discontinued because, among other reasons, the taste tests on which the advertisements are based are outdated. The challenger further argued that the advertisements communicate an unsupported line claim covering the entire Absolut line.

The challenger argued that the advertising implied that it depicted the results of a current, head-to-head, taste test of five vodka brands. Rather, Absolut said, the advertising actually showed the results of five, independently conducted taste tests, each of which was conducted at least eight or more years ago, and two of which have been superseded by more recent testing.

The challenger also argued that the advertisements featured an improperly inflated “95” score for Tito’s, showed an outdated score for Absolut, and made an unsupported line claim regarding the complete Absolut line of vodkas.

In response to NAD’s inquiry, Fifth Generation said that, in lieu of submitting substantiating evidence, the company had elected to permanently discontinue the challenged claims. In reliance on the advertiser’s representation that these claims have been permanently discontinued, NAD did not review the claims on their merits.

The voluntarily discontinued claims will be treated, for compliance purposes, as though NAD recommended their discontinuance and the advertiser agreed to comply.

Note: A recommendation by NAD to modify or discontinue a claim is not a finding of wrongdoing and an advertiser’s voluntary discontinuance or modification of claims should not be construed as an admission of impropriety. It is the policy of NAD not to endorse any company, product, or service. Decisions finding that advertising claims have been substantiated should not be construed as endorsements.