Dannon Company, General Mills Participate In NAD Forum

New York, NY – Feb. 10, 2009 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that the Dannon Company modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for “Light & Fit 0% Plus Yogurt.”

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined claims made on product packaging and in print and television advertisements by the Dannon Company for its Dannon Light & Fit 0% Plus Yogurt, following a challenge by General Mills, Inc., the maker of competing yogurt products.

Claims at issue included:

  • “50% More Fruit*” (with the asterisk referring to a disclaimer stating, “50% more fruit than regular Light & Fit Nonfat Yogurt”).
  • Light & Fit 0% Plus contains 12% of the recommended daily value of protein and 10% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin A.

At the outset, the advertiser informed NAD that it had previously discontinued certain advertising claims raised by the challenger. However, NAD determined that claims regarding the product’s fruit content and daily nutrient values remained ripe for review.

Specifically, NAD examined whether the claim “50% MORE FRUIT*” found on the front of each 4 oz. package was appropriately clarified by the “*50% MORE FRUIT than Regular Light & Fit 6 oz. Nonfat Yogurt” on the back panel of the product package. NAD determined that the disclosure was inadequate to properly limit the claim “50% MORE FRUIT” and recommended that this claim be discontinued.

NAD also examined the claim that the product contains 12% of the recommended daily value of protein and 10% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin A per 8 ounces. However, a single serving of Light & Fit 0% Plus yogurt consists of one 4-ounce container. To obtain 12% of the recommended daily value of protein and 10% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin A, an individual must consume two serving size containers of the advertised product, not one as might be reasonably be understood from this claim.

Therefore, to avoid the potential for any consumer confusion, NAD recommended that the advertiser either discontinue this claim or modify this claim to clearly and conspicuously disclose that “2 servings” of Light & Fit 0% Plus yogurt “contain 12% of the recommended daily value of protein and 10% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin A.”

Dannon, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while the company “disagrees with NAD’s observations it nevertheless will take them into account in future advertising.  Dannon continues to be a supporter of the self regulatory process.”