National Advertising Division Recommends Clif Bar Discontinue Claim “The Ultimate Energy Bar” with “An Optimal Blend of Protein, Fat, and Carbs”
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New York, NY – April 12, 2022 – The National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs recommended that Clif Bar & Company discontinue the challenged claim “The Ultimate Energy Bar” with “an optimal blend of protein, fat and carbs,” which appeared in an online commercial for its CLIF Energy Bars. This express claim, along with several implied claims, was challenged by Kind LLC, maker of competing energy bars.
The 30-second online commercial “Let’s Move the World” was launched by Clif on Hulu, Roku, and YouTube as part of a campaign to inspire people to move more often. The commercial features upbeat music and opens with men and women skateboarding, running, practicing lacrosse, working out together, and weightlifting. The voiceover states “Let’s explore the world. Let’s chase it and change it. Let’s lead it and lift it up.” The commercial also includes images of celebrities Meghan Rapinoe and Venus Williams playing soccer and tennis.
The challenged claim “The Ultimate Energy Bar” appears on screen and the voiceover states, “Let’s keep moving with the ultimate energy bar purposefully crafted with an optimal blend of protein, fat and carbs to keep you moving.” In the background men and women are featured skateboarding and those who were running and weightlifting are now seen eating CLIF Energy Bars.
NAD found that the claim “The Ultimate Energy Bar” purposefully crafted with “an optimal blend of protein, fat and carbs” conveys an implied comparative superiority message that must be supported. NAD noted that while “The Ultimate Energy Bar” standing alone may convey a message of hyperbole or non-provable opinion, the claim here is immediately followed by measurable product attributes (i.e., an optimal blend of protein, fat, and carbs) telling the consumer why the product is the “ultimate” and rendering it an objectively provable claim requiring substantiation.
NAD determined that the challenged claim was not supported because the evidence did not provide:
- Information on competitor energy bars;
- Specific details regarding the actual blend of protein, fat, and carbs in CLIF Energy Bar varieties; or
- An explanation as to why the CLIF Energy Bar’s blend is optimal or better than the competitor’s energy bars for the activities depicted in the commercial.
For these reasons, NAD determined that the challenged claim “The Ultimate Energy Bar” with “an optimal blend of protein, fat and carbs” is not substantiated and should be discontinued.
In its advertiser statement, Clif stated that it “will comply with NAD’s recommendation.” The advertiser further stated that while it “disagrees with NAD’s determination that juxtaposing these phrases to one another takes each ‘out of the realm of puffery,’ Clif agrees to cease juxtaposing its ‘ultimate energy bar’ tagline with its reference to ‘optimal’ nutrients.”
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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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