This past week, several advertising actions made headlines that affect the retail industry.

Judge Stays Chicago Soda Tax at Last Minute

On June 30, 2017, a Cook County Circuit Court judge granted a temporary restraining order halting a new county law taxing sugar sweetened beverages. The tax was enacted in November of 2016 and originally was scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2017. Siding with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and several grocers, the judge found the tax to be unconstitutionally vague, as it applies only to bottled sodas and coffees, not prepared drinks from servers or baristas. The Cook County Board of Commissioners intends to appeal the court’s decision.

NAD Recommends Maker of “Natural” Cleaning Products Discontinue Claims

The NAD has recommended that BetterLife, the maker of “natural” cleaning products, discontinue ad claims implying that other cleaning products are dangerous, unsafe and unhealthy to use. S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., the maker of Windex, challenged the claims. Better Life failed to provide any scientific support for its claims other than a time-lapse video showing the effect on Gerbera daisies submerged in bottles of Better Life’s all-purpose cleaner as compared to four competing products. Better Life agreed to comply with the NAD’s recommendations.

NAD Reviews Digital Projector Advertising Claims

The NAD recommended ViewSonic Corporation, maker of 1-chip DLP digital projectors, discontinue certain comparative claims, including “superior color accuracy,” after a competitor challenge by Epson America, Inc. The NAD also recommended that the company cease unsupported “color decay,” “color degradation” and “wider color range” comparative claims.