NAD Refers Advertising for ‘Danish’ Butter Cookie Made in Indonesia to FDA, FTC for Further Review

New York, NY – Nov. 19,  2015 – The National Advertising Division has referred advertising by Takari International, Inc., distributor of Danisa “Traditional Butter Cookies,” to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for review, after the company failed to comply with the terms of an NAD decision.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Earlier this year, NAD examined advertising claims for the product following a challenge by Campbell Soup Company, on behalf of its subsidiary Kelsen, Inc., a maker of premium Danish butter cookies.

Danisa Traditional Butter Cookies are made by the Mayora Group in Indonesia and sold in packages that display Scandinavian imagery.  Mayora markets its products in approximately fifty countries including the U.S., where they are distributed by Takari and available at the Takari website.

In the underlying case, the challenger noted that the FDA requires that any product labeled “Butter Cookies” use only butter as its shortening ingredient. The challenger asserted that testing by an agency of the Danish government, Campbell’s own laboratory and a third-party lab showed that a non-butter fat ingredient or, possibly, multiple non-butter fat ingredients, were present in the Danisa products.

Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD recommended the company discontinue the challenged claims. Takari objected to certain of NAD’s findings, but said it would remove Danisa’s advertisement from its website and that it would not promote or advertise the product at any tradeshows or expos or through in-store displays that it controls. Finally, the company said, it would not in the future purchase the product with the current packaging and description.

In response to NAD compliance inquiry, the company said that the product had been reformulated to include only butter as its shortening ingredient and contended that NAD’s previous findings shouldn’t be applied to a new product.

NAD noted in its compliance decision that the advertiser has argued that the product at issue “is a completely new product” and one that was not reviewed by NAD in the underlying proceeding. However, NAD noted, the advertiser “failed to provide NAD with any substantiation of this fact – save for anecdotal evidence.”

Further NAD observed that the product packaging continues to contain imagery depicting Danish costumes, crowns, and other Scandinavian settings that NAD recommended be discontinued.

NAD found that the advertiser, after a reasonable amount of time, had not made a bona fide attempt to bring its advertising into compliance with NAD’s recommendations and, as a result, has referred the advertising to the FTC and FDA for further review.