Stevia In The Raw was marketed as an “all natural sweetener.” The problem was that it contained GMOs. The Stevia leaves undergo extensive chemical processing to produce the end product sold to consumers. Critics alleged it was misleading and deceiving advertising to call it “raw” since most people would believe “raw” meant it was natural and unprocessed.
Kraft Heinz is being sued for allegedly false “made in US” claims because at least one ingredient was foreign-made (turmeric, tamarind extract or jalapenos). Kraft Heinz defends vigorously and even claims 2 of the 3 ingredients are not even in the product!
False advertising actions are becoming commonplace. Businesses need to be aware of and accountable for product labeling, promotions and marketing, even when these activities are outsourced. For craft beverage manufacturers, the local website or social media person may not be trained in advertising laws. Creative types may produce content that unintendedly exposes your company to false advertising claims. Be sure you review content regularly when you out-source your marketing functions. At the end of the day, you are the one held accountable. Educate yourself on the applicable regulations or hire an experienced expert to review and advise on your content. A small investment can prevent big expenses down the road.