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    Wrigley Asked to Cease Eclipse Gum Ad Claims

    Claims of germ-killing ingredients catch eye of advertising board.

    By Kenneth Hein

    NEW YORK -- The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) recommended that the Wm. Wrigley, Jr. Co. radically change it advertising claims regarding Eclipse Gum. After reviewing the company's research and marketing messages, it has advised the gum maker discontinue the claim that "most other gums just mask bad breath."

    It also stated that Eclipse ads should avoid stating or implying that it has been scientifically proven that the Magnolia bark extract in the gum kills or helps kill germs that cause breath. Additionally, NARB said Eclipse shouldn't state that it's new formulation works better than the last.

    Cadbury Adams USA LLC, challenged its competitors' claims with the National Advertising Division. It took exception to ad copy that said, among other things, "Now Eclipse contains a natural ingredient, scientifically proven to help kill the germs that cause bad breath" as well as "Most other gums just mask bad breath. We kill the germs that cause it." Energy BBDO is Eclipse's agency.

    The NAD sided with Cadbury. Wrigley appealed the NAD's decision with the NARB, which is the appeals division of the ad industry's self-regulatory system. The NARB has now rejected that appeal.

    At best, the organization said, Wrigley can advertise that there is emerging evidence as to MBE's ability to kill germs that cause bad breath.

    Wrigley representative Jennifer Jackson Luth said: "Wrigley respectfully disagrees with the NARB's findings and stands behind the scientific research regarding Eclipse gum with Magnolia bark extract. We do appreciate the time and support shown by the NARB during this self-regulatory process and will consider the panel's recommendations for future advertising.

    Wrigley spent $50 million advertising the brand last year (excluding online), per The Nielsen Co. For the first nine months of this year, it spent $17 million.

    -- Nielsen Business Media

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    By Kenneth Hein
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