A settlement has been reached with Abbott Laboratories, Inc. for a misleading advertisement campaign about their Pediasure SideKicks products, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced yesterday.
The Pediasure SideKicks products, SideKicks and SideKicks Clear, had a “You Are What You Eat” advertisement campaign that alleged children who consume SideKicks products were more likely to be active and succeed in sports than those who didn’t, Gannett’s Ashley Hupfl reports.
SideKicks beverages are sweetened, chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry flavored shakes. SideKicks Clear beverages are fruit-flavored drinks and had fruit names despite the fact the beverages did not contain any fruit or fruit juice, Schneiderman said.
The Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds bureau found Abbott Laboratories could not prove the claim that Sidekicks has “targeted nutrition for your child’s unique needs” and made children more active and better at sports. Childhood advertising and nutrition advocates alerted the Attorney General’s office about the ad’s misleading claims
“False and misleading advertising aimed at our children and their parents is exploitative, illegal and may even contribute to the obesity crisis in our communities,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
The settlement reached with Abbott Laboratories will require the company to no longer run the advertising campaign and pay a $25,000 penalty to the state.
““PediaSure Sidekicks is a nutritious snack alternative for children who, because of their food and snack choices, may have nutritional gaps in their daily diet. We are pleased to resolve this matter,” the company said in a statement.
Abbot Laboratories also agreed to no longer display on the label or claim SideKicks Clear is made from fruit if the product did not actually contain fruit or fruit juice unless the phrase “no fruit juice” was printed above the nutritional facts panel required by federal law.
The three-year “You Are What You Eat” advertising campaign debuted in 2010 with Internet and television commercials and print ads. A typical ad featured a slower and lethargic child and a healthy, active child competing at a sport. The ad claimed the healthy and active child was that way because the child drank SideKicks while the other child didn’t.
Here’s the commercial: