Ad Board Recommends Against Gimmick-Exposing Campaign
The National Advertising Division (NAD) has recommended that Sanderson Farms change a campaign claiming that its competitors are tricking consumers with “raised without antibiotics” labels on poultry products. NAD found that the information in Sanderson’s ads was accurate, including its claim that “none of the chicken you buy in the grocery store has antibiotics in it. By federal law, all chicken must be clear of antibiotics before they leave the farm.” However, NAD recommended that the language Sanderson used to describe its competitors’ “antibiotic-free” labels, including “marketing gimmick,” “full of hot air,” “just a trick to get you to pay more money” and “a phrase invented to make chicken sound safer,” should be changed, noting that the scientific community lacks a consensus on the safety of consuming meat from animals raised using antibiotics.
Sanderson reportedly “respectfully disagrees” with the decision but will adjust the campaign to reflect NAD’s concerns. “The crux of the advertising campaign was aimed at educating consumers and correcting widely held misunderstanding among consumers that chicken sold in stores contain antibiotics. Sanderson Farms believes the ads do just that and is hopeful that this recognition by NAD will further those educational efforts,” the company told NAD. See ASRC, August 11, 2017.