NAD Recommends Electric Beverage Company Modify, Discontinue Certain Claims for Title Sports Drinks

New York, New York – July 6, 2011– The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that The Electric Beverage Company, Inc., maker of Title Sports drinks, discontinue comparative superiority and nutrition claims that reference competing sports drinks including Gatorade.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed television, radio, print and Internet advertising for the product following a challenge by Stokely-Van Camp, Inc., the manufacturer of Gatorade. 

The claims at issue included:

  • Title “delivers five times more magnesium and potassium” than GATORADE.
  • Title has “twice the electrolytes” of GATORADE.
  • “less calories,” “less sodium,” “less sugar,” and “more electrolytes,” “more potassium” and “more magnesium”
  • “It’s why I play hurt when others sit.”
  • “Title owns the exclusive rights to use 72 ionic trace minerals.”
  • Title “includes essential trace mineral compound that gives you the most powerful electrolyte blend to charge the body for the day.”

NAD also reviewed radio advertising that implied certain food colorants in Gatorade are harmful.

(Full text of decision available to media upon request.)

During the course of NAD’s inquiry, the advertiser asserted that it had permanently discontinued all comparative claims, including a chart that compared the nutrients in Gatorade and Title Sports Drink, modifications NAD deemed necessary and proper given the implied superior performance claims that were communicated by these comparisons and the lack of any comparative product or performance testing in the record. 

However, the revised claim on the advertiser’s Website – “Title’s all natural, ionically charged formula provides more electrolytes, potassium and magnesium than regular Gatorade or Powerade” – is also comparative. NAD recommended the advertiser modify such to avoid conveying an unsupported message of comparative superiority.

NAD noted in its decision that it appreciated the advertiser’s efforts in securing the permanent removal of YouTube videos featuring testimonials by coaches and professional athletes making superiority claims about Title Sports Drink.

The advertiser provided a list of the 72 ionic trace minerals in the product.  However, based on the document provided to NAD, there is no indication that the advertiser has exclusive rights to use these minerals.  Accordingly, NAD determined that the claim “Title owns the exclusive rights to use 72 ionic trace minerals,” should be modified to remove the exclusivity reference.  

NAD appreciated the permanent discontinuance of the radio advertisement in question. NAD noted in its decision that the claim “[T]itle contains NO chemical dyes. That is why we can say “We NEVER Say Dye!,” which appears on the advertiser’s Website, is a truthful and accurate stand-alone claim about a product attribute that the advertiser is free to promote.

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said that it has “complied with the great majority of NAD’s requests and, with respect to the remainder of the final case decision, will take its recommendations into account in its future advertising decisions.  EBC supports the NAD self-regulatory process and appreciates the opportunity to participate in it.”