National Advertising Review Board Finds Goli Nutrition’s “Apple Cider Vinegar” Gummies Product Name Supported and Not Misleading
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New York, NY – April 27, 2022 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising law body of BBB National Programs, has determined that Goli Nutrition, Inc. supported its express use of the term “Apple Cider Vinegar” in the product name of its Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Gummies dietary supplement.
The advertising at issue had been challenged before BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division (NAD) by Bragg Live Food Products, LLC, a competing manufacturer of an apple cider vinegar product in capsule form. Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 7042), Goli appealed, and Bragg cross-appealed, certain NAD findings and recommendations.
Along with its merits appeal, Goli filed a non-merits appeal arguing that NAD should have declined jurisdiction over certain challenged claims that were the subject of pending litigation, and that a daily dosage recommendation (“1 to 2 gummies 3 times per day”) was not properly before NARB. The NARB Chair declined to dismiss any additional claims on jurisdictional grounds. However, NARB did grant some relief to the advertiser in finding that the dosage recommendation found on the package or in FAQs was not properly before the panel.
Further, although the advertiser gave notice of its intent to appeal certain merits issues, it did not pursue an appeal on any of these issues except to the extent addressed in its non-merits appeal. Therefore, the only merits issues addressed by the NARB panel were those raised by the challenger on its cross-appeal.
The NARB panel recognized that product names can convey false or misleading advertising messages. Further the panel agreed with the standard used by NAD in declining to recommend that product names be discontinued unless the names are literally false or unless the misleading nature of the product name is established with consumer research.
In agreement with NAD, the NARB panel determined that the product name “Apple Cider Vinegar” is not literally false and noted that Bragg did not submit any consumer research that might have shown that the name alone misleads consumers as to either the amount of apple cider vinegar in the gummies or any health benefits they provide. The panel noted that Goli documented that its naming convention reflects industry practice and concluded that this is a factor that can properly be considered in support of Goli’s position, as NAD did.
Finally, the NARB panel accepted NAD’s assessment of Goli’s laboratory analyses concluding that Goli’s ACV powder could be called an “ACV” ingredient.
Goli stated that it is “pleased with the panel’s determination affirming that Goli has a reasonable basis for its use of the terms ‘Apple Cider Vinegar,’ ‘ACV’ and ‘Vinegar’ in its product name” and also that “Goli may continue to state the recommended daily serving on its product label and website in contexts such as its FAQ web page.”
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