Consumers Group Asks FTC To Stop Misleading Vitaminwater Marketing

Sick of seeing Vitaminwater continue to market itself as some sort of health drink, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, the National Consumers League has called on the Federal Trade Commission to intervene and put an end to what it believes are Vitaminwater’s deceptive practices.

The League filed a formal complaint with the FTC on Wednesday, in which it called Coca-Cola-owned Vitaminwater’s advertising and labeling claims “dangerously misleading.”

Here are some of the ads cited in the NCL complaint:

* A poster ad that states: “flu shots are so last year” and pictures three varieties of Vitaminwater under the banners “more vitamin c, more immunity . . .”

* A TV ad for Vitaminwater Power-C that depicts a woman who has so many unused sick days at work that she can take them to stay home and watch movies with her boyfriend. The ad states “One of my secrets? Vitaminwater Power-C. It’s got vitamin C and zinc to help support a healthy immune system. So I can stay home with my boyfriend – who’s also playing hooky.”

And then there are these claims on the Vitaminwater labels:

* “nutrient enhanced water beverage”

* “vitamins + water = all you need”

Of course, it’s not just vitamins and water in Vitaminwater, the NCL points out. It’s also sugar (or other sweeteners) and upwards of 125 calories a bottle.

“These advertising claims are not only untrue; they constitute a public health menace,” stated Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of NCL. “Stopping these Vitaminwater claims, which contradict information by the Centers for Disease Control and other public health authorities, should be a top FTC priority.

“Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese; the last thing people need is sugar water with vitamins you could get from eating a healthy diet, or by taking a vitamin pill.”

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