After reviewing a 2012 decision, the Federal Trade Commission unanimously upheld the ruling that POM Wonderful—the popular pomegranate juice brand—made false claims about the products benefits.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the LA-based POM Wonderful asked the FTC to overturn the decision made by an administrative law judge in May 2012 that found the company’s bold advertisements to be misleading. POM Wonderful owners, Stewart and Lynda Resnick argued that the ads were protected under the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. But the commission ruled that the claims must be removed or supported by “well-controlled, human clinical trials.”
Claims that the product could treat or prevent illness including heart disease and cancer used catchy advertising slogans such as “cheat death”, “heart therapy”, “health’s angels” and “life support.” The claims used by the company were accompanied with images such as a noose around a bottle of the pomegranate juice and the bottle upturned and hanging from an IV rack.
POM Wonderful issued a statement, saying the company “categorically rejects the FTC’s assertion that our advertisements made any misleading disease treatment or other health claims. POM has always communicated with our consumers in a transparent, honest and often humorous manner, delivering valuable information about the health benefits of our products.
“This order ignores what $35 million of peer-reviewed scientific research, centuries of traditional medicine and plain common sense have taught us: antioxidant-rich pomegranate products are good for you.”
POM Wonderful is expected to file an appeal with a federal appeals court within the next 60 days.
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Image: POM Wonderful