Ad Watchdog: Company Defiantly Still Selling Crown-Festooned Danish Butter Cookies From Indonesia


The original offending packaging.

You might remember a case from this past spring where two companies took their dispute over the inherent Danishness of Danish butter cookies to the advertising industry’s self-regulation body, the National Ad Division. The NAD told cookie brand Danisa that they needed to cut back on the Danish imagery on their tins, since the cookies actually come from Indonesia.

At the time, importer Takari agreed to the terms that the NAD put forward, and promised that it would quit importing cookies from its supplier that were festooned with crowns and say “Produced and packed in Denmark” on the lid.

They responded to accusations that the product didn’t contain 100% butter as its fat by deflecting that issue to the manufacturer, but promised not to import the cookies as-is anymore. How’s that working out for them?

More than six months later, Takari has told the NAD that the product that their supplier is shipping over is now 100% buttery, and different from the cookies that competitor Campbell’s took issue with. However, what Takari hasn’t done is, say, perform lab testing or provide any proof of that fact.

Also, they haven’t stopped importing and selling the product in the controversial crown-festooned form. “…NAD observed that the product packaging continues to contain imagery depicting Danish costumes, crowns, and other Scandinavian settings that NAD recommended be discontinued.” Had the brand switched to using cookies produced in Denmark, there wouldn’t be an issue, but the cookies still come from Indonesia.

Since the requirement that something labeled “butter cookies” only contains butter is an actual food and Drug Administration regulation, the NAD has referred the case to government regulating bodies, the FDA and FTC.

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