A lawsuit has been filed against POM Wonderful, LLC, makers of POM pomegranate juice. The POM juice lawsuit claims that the company misled consumers by making unsubstantiated claims regarding the product’s usefulness in the battling cancer, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction.
Although POM Wonderful feels as though they’re being held to the same standards as pharmaceutical companies, a judge feels that the company isn’t being entirely truthful in its marketing efforts.
D. Michael Chappell, chief administrative law judge for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, has ruled that the company misrepresented the benefits of their product in recent advertising campaigns, violating federal law. As a result, the company must stop making unsubstantiated health claims that can’t be supported via the appropriate medical research.
FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection director David C. Vladeck says he’s pleased with the ruling.
“I am pleased that Judge Chappell found that all respondents including [POM Wonderful co-founders] Mr. and Mrs. Resnick violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by deceptively advertising that the POM products treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction and has entered an order against them.”
POM Wonderful is also pleased with the verdict, though, as they won’t have to have their future marketing campaigns pre-approved by the FTC.
Craig Cooper, chief legal officer for POM, expressed their happiness with the outcome.
“[The lawsuit] tried to create a new, stricter industry standard, similar to that required for pharmaceuticals, for marketing the health benefits inherent in safe food and natural food-based products. While we are still analyzing the ruling, it is clear that we will be able to continue to promote the health benefits of our safe, food products without having our advertisements, marketing or public relations efforts pre-approved.”
- Judge: POM deceptively marketed pomegranate juice (cbsnews.com)
- Judge Rules Pom Wonderful’s Advertising Is Misleading (nytimes.com)
- FTC Decides Pom Wonderful Falsely Advertised (huffingtonpost.com)