A step too far in the antioxidant battle?

These days, beverages from teas to juices boast about their antioxidant levels. It’s the new “in” thing – like wearing two different colors of Converse sneakers when America had a Punky Brewster sense of style – but at least one company took it took too far, according to the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

The NAD investigated Bossa Nova’s advertising claims that their product contains the more antioxidants than anybody else, and suggested that the juice company not make such claims in the future. The fancy charts they use in their promotions show that acai is the highest antioxidant fruit. The NAD didn’t dispute that claim, but said the juxtaposition with Bossa Nova’s packaging “could be reasonable interpreted to be representative of the antioxidants of the advertised product when that is not the case.”

Bossa Nova said they disagreed – that their claims are supported – but agreed to take the NAD’s findings into account for future advertising and packaging.

Does this boil down to a case of self-regulatory finger-wagging? Or should beverage marketers take head for fear that federal regulators could come next?

In any event, we could have used the NAD’s advice when we all wore mismatched sneakers.