BBB National Programs Archive

 

NAD Examines Advertising for Campbell’s Tomato Juice from Concentrate

New York, NY – Dec.  15, 2008 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Campbell Soup Company provided adequate substantiation for advertising claims made for “Campbell’s Tomato Juice from Concentrate.”

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined claims for the product following a challenge by Stanislaus Food Products, Inc., the maker of al Dente Premium Tomato Sauce.

Claims at issue in the NAD inquiry included:

Product Packaging and Website: 

  • “Made Only with Peak Season Tomatoes.”
  •  “Campbell’s only uses tomatoes that are vine ripened to perfection to ensure that you get the full rich tomato flavor you’ve come to expect from Campbell’s Tomato Juice.”

 Implied Claim: 

  • Campbell’s Tomato Juice From Concentrate contains fresh tomatoes that have not been thermally processed.

The label bears the company name, “Campbell’s” under which appear the words, “TOMATO JUICE”.  Directly underneath, in slightly smaller all-capital letters, in the same typeface and color, appear the words “FROM CONCENTRATE.”  To the side, on a pitched “sign” appears the claim, “Made Only with Peak Season Tomatoes.”  The label also depicts whole tomatoes as well as tomato slices.

The parties did not dispute that, by regulation, the Food and Drug Administration prohibits the use of the term “fresh” when used on the label or in labeling of a food in a manner that suggests or implies that a processed food is unprocessed and not been frozen or subjected to thermal processing or any other form of preservation. 

The question before NAD was whether the challenged advertising, describing the advertiser’s tomato product, could be reasonably interpreted to mean that it is made solely from fresh tomatoes.  

In the absence of consumer perception evidence, NAD relied on its experienced judgment to ascertain the reasonable consumer take-away and determined that, in the context presented (as juice made from concentrate) consumers would be unlikely to take away the message that the advertiser’s Tomato Juice was made from fresh, unprocessed tomatoes.

However, NAD noted that the Website advertising featured the words “FROM CONCENTRATE” in a form that was less distinct than the label. NAD recommended that the advertiser modify the Website claim to make it easier for consumers to notice, read and understand.

In its advertiser’s statement, the company said it “appreciates the opportunity to participate in the NAD review process and is pleased that NAD found the challenged claim to be substantiated. While Campbell is no longer using the claim, it appreciates NAD’s recommendation that, on the website, the words “FROM CONCENTRATE” be easier to read. Campbell will take this recommendation into account in any future use of the claim.”