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Campbell Drops MSG Attack Ads Against Progresso

It seems the Campbell Soup Company has had enough of all the negative campaigning. Instead of calling out rival Progresso for making too many soups with monosodium glutamate, Campbell is going to focus on the positive qualities of its own Select Harvest soups.

Analysts had worried that the ongoing 'soup war' between the two companies would leave customers fed up with soup in general, but recent financial results suggest that the negative campaigning served Campbell well. Still, the company apparently wants to move on and try to attract new customers with a cleaner, more wholesome strategy.

It's a good time for it; the Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division recently put a stop to some of General Mills' attack ads for Progresso.

Specifically, the group decided the company could no longer use misleading statistics like, "Campbell's has 95 soups with MSG; Progresso has 26 delicious soups with no MSG." While the statements are "literally truthful," the bureau said, they dishonestly obscure the fact that Campbell has even more MSG-free options than Progresso (124 of them, to be precise).

The Glutamate Association will no doubt be relieved. But the new campaign for Select Harvest will probably still emphasize things like lack of MSG, along with low-sodium and natural ingredients.