Dannon’s In Deep Yogurt

Dannon Yogurt has agreed to settlean FTC complaint based on its ad campaigns for Activia yogurt and DanActive dairy drink. According to the FTC complaint, Dannon’s claims that one daily serving of Activia helps control irregularity and its claim that drinking DanActive helps fight off colds and the flu were exaggerated. Apparently, Dannon’s substantiation for its claims was a bit suspect, given that Dannon funded the studies and conducted them at its own facility. The settlement limits what Dannon can say about both products. Apparently 39 state attorneys general cooperated with the FTC on this. Dannon will pay out $21 million to the various states as part of the settlement. Dannon’s reaction is interesting. According to a company statement, “Millions of people firmly believe in, benefit from and enjoy these products, and Dannon will continue to research, educate and communicate about the benefits of probiotics on the digestive and immune systems.” All of that is great. But no matter how many people “believe it” that is not substantiation. As Dannon learned the hard way.