NAD Finds Coca-Cola can Support Certain Claims for ‘Minute Maid Enhanced Juice’

New York, New York – Oct. 27, 2009 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that the Coca-Cola company can support the claim that Minute Maid Enhanced Juice Blend can “help nourish your brain.”

However, NAD has recommended that the advertiser discontinue broadcast advertising claims that imply consumers will experience an immediate memory “boost” from the product.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined claims for the product pursuant to NAD’s routine monitoring of national advertising. Claims at issue included the express claim that the product can “help nourish your brain,” and the implied claim that people who drink Minute Maid enhanced juice will experience substantially improved memory capability.

The advertiser explained that each 8 oz. serving of Minute Maid Enhanced Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored 100% Juice Blend is fortified with 50 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) an Omega-3 fatty acid, 55 mg of choline, and a substantial percentage of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 (10%), Vitamin C (100%), and Vitamin E (20%).

The advertiser contended that these nutrients “help nourish your brain and body.”

NAD examined evidence that included a wide range of studies on DHA. While some studies yielded more definitive results than others, NAD concluded that viewed collectively, the broad range of research supports the general proposition that DHA consumption has a beneficial impact on cognitive functioning. Therefore, NAD determined that the evidence, taken together, supports the claim “help nourish your brain.”

NAD found further support for the claim – albeit more limited support – in scientific evidence regarding choline, Vitamins B12, C, and E, and glucose.

NAD then considered whether the Minute Maid Enhanced PB commercial conveys the implied message that people who drink the juice will experience substantially improved memory capabilities.

The commercial depicts a man encountering a woman whom he does not at first recognize. She tells him, “I think you’re the father of one of my kids.” The man looks confused, and then, apparently thinking back to a long-ago tryst, he ventures, “Cancun, Spring Break, 99.” The woman says “no.” A voiceover states that the man forgot to “boost.” The man then takes a swig from his bottle of Minute Maid Enhanced PB, which is shown onscreen bearing a label that reads: “Help Nourish Your Brain” and “5 Nutrients to Support Brain and Body.” After the man drinks the product, he immediately remembers the identity of the woman. “Oh, my daughter is in your art class… Sister Mary Catherine.” The voiceover touts the product’s “five nutrient boost,” and states, “put good in, get good out.”

NAD noted in its decision that humor does not relieve an advertiser of its obligation to support claims conveyed in its advertising and concluded that the evidence in the record did not support the implied claim that a one-time or short-term “boost” of the advertised DHA-containing juice would have an immediate and perceptible effect on memory. NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the challenged commercial.

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said that it does not agree that the commercial “conveys an implied message that healthy adults will achieve an immediate and perceptible memory boost from drinking our product.  Rather, we believe the commercial communicates, in a humorous fashion, a general message that the product is fortified with nutrients that help support brain health – a message NAD has found is supported by the record.”

In any event, the company said, “the commercial already has run its course, and Minute Maid does not plan to air it again; therefore, Minute Maid will not appeal this portion of NAD’s decision.”