Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that Nestlé ads for Boost Kid Essentials are misleading and that the company had agreed to drop them. Officials are cracking down on supermarket nutrition gimmicks, particularly ones created specifically for children. “Parents want to do right by their kids,” said David Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC is helping them by monitoring ads and stopping those that are deceptive.”
The Boost Kid Essentials drink purported to provide “immunity protection” so effective that it could prevent children from getting colds and missing school. Furthermore, Nestlé claimed that the drink was clinically shown to reduce illness in children, but no such clinical proof could be provided. Although the beverage does contain beneficial probiotic bacteria similar to those found in yogurt, the FTC determined the assertion made by Nestlé was unfounded and probably exaggerated. Nestlé agreed to change their advertisements, but did not admit any misconduct, nor did the commission require them to pay a fine.