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May 28, 2008

"Natural'' Claim Upheld

NAD Reviews Advertising from

Nestle Purina petCARe

NAD Finds Reasonable Support for  ‘Natural’ and ‘Pure’ Pet Food Claims

New York, NY – May 23, 2008 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Nestle Purina PetCare Co., has provided reasonable support for its claims that its Pet Promise Cat & Dog Food products are manufactured with “natural’ and “pure” ingredients, sourced from farms and ranches that have adopted “eco-friendly” and “humane” husbandry practices.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined advertising for the pet food products pursuant to NAD’s ongoing monitoring. NAD requested that Nestle Purina provide substantiation for the following claims.

“We promise only pure and natural ingredients – made without animal byproducts, rendered meat or chicken meals or anything artificial.”

“Our most plentiful ingredient is a pure protein source like naturally raised chicken or beef.”

“Chicken or beef sourced from

U.S.

family farmers and ranchers committed to eco-friendly practices and the humane treatment of farm animals.”

NAD examined evidence that included standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for animal feed labeled as “natural.” AAFCO guidelines provide that natural pet food many not contain any “chemically synthesized ingredients” and that a “natural” claim “is only acceptable in reference to the product as a whole when all of the ingredients and components of ingredients meet the definition.”

Further, NAD examined evidence related to the sources and processing of animal products used by the advertiser in its pet food.

In its decision, NAD noted that “eco-friendly” advertising claims “send an attractive message to consumers who, in increasing numbers, are concerned about the impact their purchasing decisions may have on the environment.”

In this case, NAD noted, the advertising reviewed by NAD was specific insofar as it directly refers to “family farmers and ranchers committed to eco-friendly practices.” 

As additional support for that commitment, the advertiser provided information regarding the participating suppliers’ practices including energy conservation, recycling of bedding and manure and participation in nonprofit organizations that work to improve and preserve the environment.

On the basis of the evidence in the record, NAD determined that the advertiser provided a reasonable basis for its “natural” and “pure” claims and the claims that Pet Promise uses chicken or beef sourced from

U.S.

family farmers and ranchers committed to eco-friendly practices and the humane treatment of farm animals.”

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said that appreciates “NAD's thoughtful review of the information submitted and its findings that each of the claims for the Pet Promise products were supported.  Nestle Purina welcomes the opportunity to support the NAD self-regulatory process.”

NAD's inquiry was conducted under NAD/CARU/NARB Procedures for the Voluntary Self-Regulation of National Advertising.  Details of the initial inquiry, NAD's decision, and the advertiser's response will be included in the next NAD/CARU Case Report.

NAD and CARU are the investigative arms of the advertising industry’s voluntary self-regulation program. Their casework results from competitive challenges from other advertisers, and also from self-monitoring traditional and new media. The National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appeals body, is a peer group from which ad-hoc panels are selected to adjudicate those cases that are not resolved at the NAD/CARU level. This unique, self-regulatory system is funded entirely by the business community; CARU is financed by the children’s advertising industry, while NAD/NARC/NARB’s sole source of funding is derived from membership fees paid to the CBBB. ERSP’s funding is derived from membership in the Electronic Retailing Association. For more information about advertising self regulation, please visit http://narcpartners.org/.

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Professionalism is environmental. Amateurism is anti environmental. Professionalism merges the individual into patterns of total environment. Amateurism seeks the development of the total awareness of the individual and the critical awareness of the ground rules of society. The amateur can afford to loose.

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