National Advertising Division Finds Certain Claims for 4Patriots Long-Term Survival Food Kits Supported; Recommends Advertiser Modify Others

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

New York, NY – February 17, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs determined 4Patriots LLC provided a reasonable basis for the number of views on the YouTube page for its Long-Term Survival Food Kits. NAD also found that the product names “3-Month Survival Food Kit” and “1-Year Survival Food Kit” on their own did not convey any implied messages about serving size, caloric content, or adverse effects.

However, NAD recommended that the advertiser:

  • Modify its duration claims (e.g., “In every 1-Year Kit, you’ll get 2,400 2,752 delicious servings of our best survival food . . .” as well “3-Month Survival Food Kit” and “1-Year Survival Food Kit” when not used as product names) to clearly and conspicuously disclose material limitations of the claims;
  • Avoid conveying the message that the survival food kits will provide consumers with the abundance of food depicted in the advertising for the full claimed duration; and
  • Modify the paid endorsement disclosures on the challenged videos to clearly and conspicuously disclose the material connection, where a material connection exists, between the advertiser and the endorser of its product.

 

The advertiser’s claims were challenged by My Patriot Supply, a competitor in the shelf stable survival food business.

 

Duration Claims

NAD considered whether the advertiser’s product names - “3-Month Survival Food Kit” and “1-Year Survival Food Kit” – impliedly convey the message that consumers will not suffer any adverse health effects after consuming the food in the kits for the stated period. In the absence of any evidence that consumers take away such messages, NAD concluded that consumers would not take away an implied message about serving size, caloric content, or adverse effects from the product names.

NAD further assessed whether any implied message has been made from the Advertiser’s website and videos. NAD concluded that when viewed in context, one reasonable message conveyed by the challenged advertising is that consumers will be able to enjoy servings each day as large and generous as those displayed on the website and videos and still have enough food to last the full claimed duration without adverse health effects.

NAD noted that the advertiser discloses in a few locations that consumers may need more calories than what is offered in each kit, and that the advertiser states in various places on its website how many calories can be consumed each day for the food to last three months or one year (1,505 per day). However, NAD was concerned that these disclosures are not clear and conspicuous, and are thus ineffective to prevent confusion in the context of such strong depictions of generous portions of food.

For these reasons, NAD recommended that the advertiser modify its advertising to:

  • Avoid conveying the message that the survival food kits will provide consumers with the abundance of food depicted in the advertising that will last the full claimed duration (by, for example, specifying that the quantity of food shown represents a specific number of servings);
  • Ensure that all disclosures are clear and conspicuous; and
  • Clearly and conspicuously disclose that some people may need more calories a day than are included in the survival kits.

 

Endorsement Claims

During the proceeding, the advertiser modified the challenged videos “#1 Food Kit is BACK!” and “Real Survival Food Reviews, from Real Customers” to add a disclosure that “sometimes [customers] receive a free product to test or as a thank you for submitting honest feedback.” However, NAD determined that the modified disclosures did not clearly and conspicuously disclose the material connection between the advertiser and the endorser of its product.

Therefore, NAD recommended that the advertiser further modify the paid endorsement disclosures on the challenged videos so that:

  • The Real Survival Food Reviews video contains clear and conspicuous disclosures within the video itself;
  • The disclosure for the Real Survival Food Reviews on the YouTube page appears without having to click “Show More”; and
  • A disclosure appears immediately next to the #1 Food Kit is BACK! video on the advertiser’s website.

 

Popularity Claims

NAD considered whether the advertiser artificially boosted the number of views on the “#1 Food Kit is BACK!” YouTube page by using pay-for-view social media bots to artificially inflate its views. NAD determined that the advertiser’s evidence was sufficient to provide a reasonable basis for the number of views of its video.

Finally, during the course of the proceeding, the advertiser voluntarily discontinued or modified a number of challenged free and strikethrough pricing claims (e.g. “10 FREE gifts worth $478.65”). NAD did not review these claims on the merits.

In its advertiser statement, 4Patriots stated that it “will comply with NAD’s recommendations.” The advertiser further stated that it is “a strong supporter of the self-regulatory process and thanks the NAD for its careful consideration of this matter.”

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive.

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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. NAD reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.  

 

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