NAD Recommends Bodyarmor Modify, Discontinue Certain Claims for ‘SuperDrink’

New York, NY – April 15, 2014 – The National Advertising Division has determined that Bodyarmor Nutrition LLC can support certain claims for “BODYARMOR SuperDrink” when those claims are made in a standalone context, but has recommended the company modify or discontinue the use of such claims in other contexts.

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

The claims at issue were challenged by Stokely-Van Camp, Inc., the maker of Gatorade sports drinks.

At the outset of NAD’s review, the advertiser asserted that it had already discontinued certain challenged claims, including:

  •  Gatorade is “your grandfather’s sports drink”
  •  Gatorade is “high [in] sodium”
  •  Gatorade contains “artificial colors.”

Consequently, NAD concluded that, pursuant to NAD/NARB Procedures §2.2(B)(i)(d) the claims were no longer appropriate for review.

NAD noted in its decision its appreciation for the advertiser’s successful efforts to have third-party website Tongal remove the claim that “SuperDrink” “has more hydration, nutrition, and protection than anything else out there. Period,” as well as the advertiser’s assurance that the claim has been permanently discontinued – action that NAD determined was necessary and proper.

NAD then turned its attention the remaining claims:

  •  “Each flavor contains superior nutrition and superior hydration”
  •  BODYARMOR SuperDrink is “packed with a proprietary blend of electrolytes, antioxidants, and vitamins that provide an unparalleled combination of superior nutrition and superior hydration.”
  •  “BODYARMOR SuperDrink blends Electrolytes, Antioxidants, and Vitamins to provide your body with Superior Nutrition + Hydration.”
  •  BODYARMOR SuperDrink contains “2 ½ Times the Electrolytes [of the] Leading Sports Drink”

NAD found that the claim SUPERIOR NUTRITION + HYDRATION, standing alone, in a monadic context, conveys a substantiated message as to the excellence or high quality of the advertiser’s product. NAD, however, recommended that, in the context of product packaging and one of the advertiser’s web pages, where the claim appeared in proximity to a different comparative claim referencing the leading sports drink, the advertiser either discontinue its “SUPERIOR NUTRITION + HYDRATION” language or modify the claim to avoid conveying any unsupported comparative message that its product provides superior nutrition and hydration when compared to the leading sports drink.

Further, NAD found that the claim “ELECTROLYTES: 2½X THE LEADING SPORTS DRINK,” standing alone, conveyed a literally true statement of fact. NAD, however, recommended that the advertiser either discontinue the use of this claim in close proximity to the claim SUPERIOR NUTRITION + HYDRATION claim on its website and packaging – or sufficiently modify the claim to avoid any implication of superior hydration due to the inclusion of two and one-half times the electrolytes of the leading sports drink.

Bodyarmor, in its advertiser’s statement, took issue with certain of NAD’s findings, but said that it had undertaken, for business reasons unrelated to the challenge, the revision of advertising that “will render the claims at issue in this challenge moot. Should BODYARMOR consider future changes to its labeling or advertising, it will take NAD’s recommendation into account and will endeavor to make clear that these are distinct claims that should not be read in combination.”