Advertising and marketing techniques these days are only getting more and more questionable. How can consumers truly know if the products they are purchasing are really what they seem? According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, this spring, a debate regarding Coca-Cola’s marketing of a “pomegranate-blueberry juice” has sprung up. Recently, the Supreme Court has allowed this complaint to come under lawsuit.
Coca-Cola has been targeted by juice maker, Pom Wonderful LLC, for marketing a Minute Maid beverage as “pomegranate blueberry flavored, which contains barely any pomegranate or blueberry. Instead, the beverage contains 99.4% apple juice and grape juice.
The beverage giant has admitted to the accusations regarding the contents of its drink, but do not believe they have truly misled buyers because the juice’s packaging clearly pictures all the fruits contained in the drink.
Yet, unlucky for Coca-Cola, on Thursday, June 12, Supreme Court Justice, Anthony Kennedy, wrote an unanimous opinion that allowed Pom to continue with its lawsuit against the beverage company on the count of false advertising. This decision overturned one made in 2012 at a San-Francisco appeals court that decided Pom’s claims infringed on the Food and Drug Administrations authority to dictate juice labeling. The Supreme Court has sent the case back down to the lower courts for trial.
However, Coca-Cola insists their labels are both accurate and comply with Food and Drug Administration rules. “We intent to defend against Pom’s claims that our labeling is misleading, and the evidence at trial will show that our product was not the cause of Pom’s poor sales,” a spokesman from the company told WSJ.
Pom reiterates their strong belief in accurate food and beverage labeling. They tell the WSJ, “We believe that when people better understand what they are consuming, they can make healthy and more informed decisions about what they buy.”
This decision to allow Pom to continue with its lawsuit might be indicative of future changes in how the government handles advertising in the food industry. Will Coca-Cola be found of misleading its consumers into purchasing and drinking something different than what they believe, or will they, and other companies be allowed to continue to market products in ways that don’t always tell the full truth?
Image Credit : Coca-Cola Company & Pom Juice