NAD Refers Talking Rain Beverage Company to FTC After Company Fails to Comply with NAD Recommendations to Modify, Discontinue Certain Advertising Claims

New York, NY – Sept. 24, 2014 – The National Advertising Division has referred advertising claims made by Talking Rain Beverage Company to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after a compliance review indicated that the  company had not complied with the terms of an earlier NAD decision.

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

In the underlying case, Nestle Waters North America challenged advertising claims for Talking Rain “Sparkling ICE” products, which are marketed with taglines that include “THE ADVENTUROUS SIDE OF WATER,” “THE VIBRANT SIDE OF WATER,” and “THE BOLD SIDE OF WATER.”

NAD determined that calling the products a “… side of water” could be reasonably understood by consumers to mean that the products are water, when in fact they contain numerous additives and sweeteners.

NAD concluded that the advertiser’s “… side of water” claims were not accurate and should be discontinued. In its Advertiser’s Statement, Talking Rain agreed to comply with NAD’s recommendation.

The challenger recently requested that NAD initiate a compliance proceeding, pointing to website advertising and videos at the Sparking ICE-branded YouTube page that continues to feature the  “…side of water” claims that NAD recommended be discontinued.

Talking Rain declined to participate in NAD’s compliance inquiry. Given the advertiser’s refusal to participate further in the self-regulatory process, particularly after it indicated its willingness to comply with NAD’s decision in its Advertiser’s Statement, NAD is referring this matter to the Federal Trade Commission for review.