New York, NY – October 20, 2022 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising decision body of BBB National Programs, has determined that Mazee, LLC has reasonable support for claims that its Glee Gum is “plant-based,” “made with chicle,” and “natural.” However, the NARB Panel recommended that the advertiser discontinue claims that Glee Gum is “plastic-free.”
The advertising at issue had been challenged before BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division (NAD) by Perfetti Van Melle USA, Inc., a competing manufacturer of chewing gum products. Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 7077), the NARB Chair granted Perfetti’s request to appeal the NAD decision that the advertiser had provided a reasonable basis for its express “plastic-free” claims and that the claims did not reasonably communicate any implied falsely denigrating messages. Mazee then cross-appealed NAD’s recommendation to discontinue its “plant-based,” “made with chicle”, and “natural” claims.
The NARB Panel reviewed the evidence provided by the advertiser and concluded that Mazee has a reasonable basis for the express “plant-based,” “made with chicle,” and “natural” claims made on its product labels and website.
Regarding the evidence offered by the advertiser in support of these claims, the NARB Panel found that it was reasonable for the advertiser to rely on:
- Representations by its ISO-certified and GMP-accredited gum base supplier that it provides Mazee with a gum base that is 94% chicle tree sap (the other 6% consists of candelilla wax and natural citrus acid);
- Carbon-14 testing conducted by an ISO-certified company that the Glee Gum base is bio-based as opposed to synthetic or petroleum-based;
- Various certifications of the ingredients used in its gum products (e.g., Foodchain ID Non-GMO, Vegan, and Kosher);
- Ingredient lists for each line of Glee Gum products that contain no artificial or synthetic ingredients; and
- Representations from its co-packer that the production process does not alter the nature of the ingredients contained in Glee Gum products.
While the NARB Panel did not question the expertise and testing conducted by the challenger’s experts, it did not find that the testing’s results squarely refuted the reasonable support for the claims presented by the advertiser.
However, the NARB Panel recommended that the advertiser discontinue its “plastic-free” claims based on the conclusion that such claims create unsupported implied messages that its product lacks plastic while other gums contain plastic, or that its product is more environmentally friendly than its competitors.
Mazee stated that it “is a supporter of the self-regulatory process and will comply with the NARB’s recommendation. The Advertiser would like to thank the NARB for their time in reviewing this matter.”
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About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Review Board (NARB): The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is the appellate body for BBB National Programs’ advertising self-regulatory programs. NARB’s panel members include 85 distinguished volunteer professionals from the national advertising industry, agencies, and public members, such as academics and former members of the public sector. NARB serves as a layer of independent industry peer review that helps engender trust and compliance in NAD, CARU, and DSSRC matters.
Director of Communications, BBB National Programs
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