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Gerber Catches Beech-Nut Making False Claims About Baby Food

5220000374.jpgParents of new children will believe anything if you tell them it's good for their kids. Beech-Nut seems to have relied on that in its print and web campaign for its Good Morning and Good Evening baby-food products. The company had been claiming that Good Morning Chiquita Banana Juice with Yogurt "supports attentiveness for learning" and Good Evening Veggie Delight Juice "supports healthy growth during night."

Gerber, a rival babyfood maker, complained about the ads to the National Advertising Division -- a sort of ad industry police force. It turns out that Beech-Nut's campaign is complete garbage:

In this case, NAD noted, there was no evidence in the record, including clinical testing on infants or toddlers, that demonstrated eating the Good Morning or Good Evening products would improve an infant's attentiveness, or allow the infant to learn better or grow faster.
The NAD has asked Beech-Nut to quit advertising its products this way. Beech-Nut, however, is taking a shamelessly resistant tone. Here's its statement:
[Beech-Nut] will take the NAD's concerns into consideration in the development of its future advertising and will make such modifications as necessary to comply with the NAD's decision. As to those issues raised which are regulated by the FDA, the advertiser will take the NAD's concerns into consideration but will also continue to rely on the advice of counsel with regard to issues of regulatory compliance.
Beech-Nut's current ad agency is Palio Communications in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It is not clear whether Palio made the offending ads. Palio denies it created the ads (see comment section, below).
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