Foster Poultry Farms’ advertising claims challenged

08-06-2006 | |

Advertising for Forster Poultry Farms products has been referred to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

East Bay Animal Advocates (EBAA), an animal welfare organisation, challenged claims made by the advertising for Foster Farms. The claims at issue are:

  1. “Foster Farms is absolutely committed to the humane treatment of all animals.”
  2. “Keeping the chickens comfortable, clean and well treated is a priority for Foster Farms and ensures excellent health and development.”
  3. “Over the years, we have developed a comprehensive series of Animal Care Best Management Practices requiring humane production and processing practices for both chickens and turkey.”
  4. “We remain committed to animal welfare. Foster Farms would like to assure consumers that its chickens are raised in large poultry barns (without cages) that allow the birds to move around.”

NAD referred Foster Farms to the FTC because the company refused to participate in the NAD process. However, Foster Farms claim that the issue under dispute is whether the poultry industry practices are “humane”, which is a moral issue and “not with[in] the NAD/CARU mandate”.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, on-the-other-hand noted in its decision that the challenge centres on the interpretation and accuracy of objective statements made in advertising. They said that a lawsuit may involve the same parties or the adjudication of related issues does not deprive NAD of its jurisdiction or its mandate to ensure the truth and accuracy of advertising.