The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (“NAD”) has settled competing challenges between Kraft Heinz, the maker of Heinz Real Mayonnaise, and Unilever, the maker of Hellmann’s REAL Ketchup.
Unilever complained to the NAD that Kraft Heinz made unsupported claims that Heinz Real Mayonnaise is superior to Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, which is made by Unilever. Kraft Heinz had paid for “Upgrade Your Mayonnaise” ad displays placed in front of (and sometimes pointing at) Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise. Kraft Heinz argued that these signs were self-referential and merely puffery. NAD agreed that when the “Upgrade” signs were placed in front of Kraft Heinz’s products, the “Upgrade” language was merely puffery. This analysis, however, did not extend to the context of signs placed in a way to draw comparisons between one product and another.
In a separate matter, Kraft Heinz complained about Unilever’s no high fructose corn syrup and “better-for-you” claims for its Hellmann’s REAL Ketchup product. The NAD determined that Unilever’s physical separation of the two claims “Hellmann’s REAL Ketchup” and “No High Fructose Corn Syrup” on the product label sufficiently limited the takeaways from the claims and reasonably conveyed two distinct messages. Kraft Heinz also challenged Unilever’s claims that “Moms prefer” Hellmann’s over Heinz. While the NAD found Unilever’s survey to be well-conducted, the NAD recommended that Unilever clarify its preference statements to indicate that the survey involved a review of the blinded product ingredient lists and did not measure taste preferences.