Check out this press release about a ruling in New Zealand that Splenda Ads are misleading to consumers.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Matt J. Lauer firstname.lastname@example.org
July 25, 2005
Splenda Ads by Johnson & Johnson Are Misleading, Says Advertising Standards Board
New Zealand Ad Authority Upholds Complaint Against J&J
Washington, D.C. [July 25, 2005] -- The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against Johnson & Johnson for misleading marketing practices in advertisements for the chlorinated artificial sweetener Splenda. This complaint is on the basis that Splenda is being compared directly to sugar and misleading and confusing consumers into thinking its as natural as sugar because its made from sugar and tastes like sugar, according to the upheld complaint.
The Authoritys Advertising Standards Complaints Board, made up of representatives from New Zealands advertising and marketing agencies, reviewed 15 second and 30 second versions of an ad for the artificial sweetener along with focus group input. The Board determined that the ad deceived consumers into thinking Splenda is all natural like sugar, when it is actually a chemical compound. The [Splenda] advertisement...gave rise to a likelihood of a consumer being confused and mislead as a result of the comparison in the advertisement, the Board decided. According to the ASA, when the Board upholds a complaint, they ask the company not to run the ad again.
In reality, the product Splenda does not contain and is not sugar. The artificial sweetener ingredient (sucralose) in Splenda is manufactured chemically. The sweetness of Splenda is due to the chlorocarbon chemical (sucralose) that contains three atoms of chlorine in every one of its molecules. In fact, the name sucralose is misleading because it is not a sugar but a chlorinated chemical.
In the United States, Johnson & Johnson is currently involved in more than ten federal and consumer class action lawsuits alleging misleading marketing for the chlorinated artificial sweetener Splenda.
This is an important ruling for consumers. As more and more sweeteners are used to formulate foods in the U.S., consumers need to be vigilant in reading the ingredients part of the Food Label to verify if the product is made with all natural real sugar or some man-made, chemical sweetener. To help consumers, advertising of these food products must be accurate and not misleading, says Andy Briscoe, President of the Sugar Association.
The New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority was formed in 1973 and is a self-regulating body comprised of marketing and advertising agencies in New Zealand.