NARB Finds Glee Gum’s “Plant-Based,” “Made with Chicle,” “Natural,” Claims Supported; Recommends Discontinuance of “Plastic Free” Claims
New York, NY – October 20, 2022 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising decision body of BBB National Programs, has determined that Mazee, LLC has reasonable support for claims that its Glee Gum is “plant-based,” “made with chicle,” and “natural.” However, the NARB Panel recommended that the advertiser discontinue claims that Glee Gum is “plastic-free.”
The advertising at issue had been challenged before BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division (NAD) by Perfetti Van Melle USA, Inc., a competing manufacturer of chewing gum products. Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 7077), the NARB Chair granted Perfetti’s request to appeal the NAD decision that the advertiser had provided a reasonable basis for its express “plastic-free” claims and that the claims did not reasonably communicate any implied falsely denigrating messages. Mazee then cross-appealed NAD’s recommendation to discontinue its “plant-based,” “made with chicle”, and “natural” claims.
The NARB Panel reviewed the evidence provided by the advertiser and concluded that Mazee has a reasonable basis for the express “plant-based,” “made with chicle,” and “natural” claims made on its product labels and website.
Regarding the evidence offered by the advertiser in support of these claims, the NARB Panel found that it was reasonable for the advertiser to rely on:
- Representations by its ISO-certified and GMP-accredited gum base supplier that it provides Mazee with a gum base that is 94% chicle tree sap (the other 6% consists of candelilla wax and natural citrus acid);
- Carbon-14 testing conducted by an ISO-certified company that the Glee Gum base is bio-based as opposed to synthetic or petroleum-based;
- Various certifications of the ingredients used in its gum products (e.g., Foodchain ID Non-GMO, Vegan, and Kosher);
- Ingredient lists for each line of Glee Gum products that contain no artificial or synthetic ingredients; and
- Representations from its co-packer that the production process does not alter the nature of the ingredients contained in Glee Gum products.
While the NARB Panel did not question the expertise and testing conducted by the challenger’s experts, it did not find that the testing’s results squarely refuted the reasonable support for the claims presented by the advertiser.
However, the NARB Panel recommended that the advertiser discontinue its “plastic-free” claims based on the conclusion that such claims create unsupported implied messages that its product lacks plastic while other gums contain plastic, or that its product is more environmentally friendly than its competitors.
Mazee stated that it “is a supporter of the self-regulatory process and will comply with the NARB’s recommendation. The Advertiser would like to thank the NARB for their time in reviewing this matter.”
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