Procter & Gamble Asked To Change Pet Food Claims In Ads

IamsProcter & Gamble needs to modify its advertisement claim that “four out of five veterinarians recommend Iams to help dogs and cats live healthier, longer,” according to the National Advertising Division (NAD).

The division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has asked Iams to change the “healthier, longer” part because it seemed to compare the food to other brands. But there is no such comparison that is supported by the company’s veterinary survey or any other evidence. The NAD said Iams could make the claim “among the leading brands they recommend, four out of five vets recommend Iams.”

This recommendation was not prompted by the pet food recalls, instead it was posed as a challenge by Colgate-Palmolive, marketer of Hill’s Science Diet pet food.

The Iams claim is based on a 2006 veterinarian survey. A P&G spokesperson couldn’t be reached for an answer on if Iams had conducted a similar survey after the recalls in March.

The NAD said one particular TV ad had a message that four out of five vets recommend Iams over competing brands without any support or evidence. Also, it wasn’t certain from the company’s survey if the vets recommended Iams because it keeps pets “healthier, longer.”

They also asked what are the pets living healthier and longer in comparison to. The NAD said vets in the survey offered up many factors of why pets live healthier and longer and many were not food-related. The NAD stated: “If the advertiser really wanted to find out why veterinarians recommend Iams dog food, it should simply have asked.”

P&G said it would take their recommendations in developing future advertisements, but the company believes their survey supports the “healthier, longer” part of their claim.

On Iams website, there is now a different version of their claim on the home page. It says: “Vets know how vital nutrition is to your dog’s health. And four out of five veterinarians recommend Iams.” There is an asterisk at the end of that claim which says: “in a recent veterinarian’s survey, among the leading brands they recommend.”

On a cat page of the Iams website, it claims: “vets recommend Iams to help cats live healthier, longer.”

Source: Advertising Age

21 Responses to “Procter & Gamble Asked To Change Pet Food Claims In Ads”

  1. Lynne says:

    I really don’t care what they say. I don’t buy their crap anyway.

  2. catmom5 says:

    Could be kinda interesting to watch Hills and Iams fighting over which is best. They’ve got a lot of money invested in the vets to sell their stuff. None of it is worth the powder it would take to blow it away, IMHO.

  3. Dave says:

    “Four out of five pet owners” no longer trust what the pet food companies say in their advertising. All those lovely veggies and meats on their packaging yet I can’t find one single pea or carrot in the bag. And all of their foods…every one, are “100% balanced & complete”.

  4. Debi says:

    Balanced and complete with b.s., please keep boycotting these crap products, we are hurting them and now they are getting desperate, making blanket statements that everyone knows are a load of crap!!!

  5. nora says:

    They should say “Kills dogs and cats faster than most brands”. What a crock of SHT. And the only reason the vets “recommend it” is because they are programmed in school and really don’t have a clue about the food. Their TV adds and the new banners hanging at all the places that are stupid to sell the crap MAKE ME WANT TO VOMIT.

  6. Carol says:

    Looking on the positive (but small) side of this—I think this is the result of the pet food disaster—I wonder if P&G would ask for the change if they didn’t realize how very much pet owners are getting informed regarding the truth in pet foods and are becoming very vocal. I like to think there is some good in every bad and need to think that something positive will come out of this continued nightmare..

  7. Pukanuba says:

    I just love it……..go get these pf companies, keep the pressure on them. I see those ads & I want to put my fist through the tv screen. There was a time I really believed all their bullpucky that their food was good for my dog……however, I have never had a warm, fuzzy feeling about Iams…….no reason, just never liked it. I don’t ever remember seeing so many ads for pet food nor have I seen this many coupons for either free food or big discounts. I’d hate to think they might be hurting.

    I think there’s a lot of fighting going on because their food isn’t selling……aw gee, what a terrible shame. The CEOs are in a panic because it’s tough going from a 100 million dollar bonus down to 25 million…….don’t have to tell you how much my heart aches for those poor bastards. Yeah right, when pigs fly……..& let’s hope they aren’t the diseased ones or the melapigs.

  8. Teresa says:

    I was glad to see this article. I love my vet, since I do rescue I’m in the clinic two or three times a week. They all know that my rescue kitties eat only holistic foods.

    But I’ve heard her to tell people, “Oh, yes, Iams is a good food, it will be fine.” And I ask her, offline, “Why did you recommend Iams?”

    Her answer is, “Well, it’s been around a long time, the cats seem to like it.”

    It has nothing to do with ingredients or quality or measured tests on how well animals do on it or anything. It’s reputation and marketing, if you ask me.

  9. straybaby says:

    lol!~ well this brings a smile to my face. the big boys gettin’ pissy over advertising claims. oh, the irony!

    so folks, anytime you hear a pet food commercial that makes you want to scream “Bull S***!!” be sure and file a complaint with NAD.

    also, if you know of brands that have changed their ingredients but are using old packaging and they have not been stickered, report them to consumer affairs, the bbb and fda and anyone else that needs to know. time to start doin’ some smack down on these companies.

    truth in advertising. truth in labeling.

  10. Anonymous says:

    what a hoot! recommendation was not prompted by the pet food recalls, instead it was posed as a challenge by Colgate-Palmolive, marketer of Hill’s Science Diet pet food.

    if that aint the lying liar calling the lying liar a liar

  11. Anonymous says:

    straybaby: so folks, anytime you hear a pet food commercial that makes you want to scream “Bull S***!!” be sure and file a complaint with NAD.

    go ahead and scream BS — the little old lady next doo, and the consumer on the street don’t hear anything else.

  12. straybaby says:

    i said that MAKES you want to scream. ya know that gut reaction to the BS they’re spewing? if that’s your reaction to an ad, perhaps popping online and filing a complaint would be useful.

  13. Katie says:

    Colgate and P&G going at it in the ad war - Love it! However, P&G instead of saying your food causes pets to live healthier and longer, perhaps you might like to explain to pet parents why your food killed and sickened. That doesn’t sound healthier or longer to me. My survivor will never be the same.

    Vets were programmed. When this started my vet just couldn’t believe Iam’s was at fault, such a good food and been out there so long. Than the “real” news hit. I don’t think the vets are as happy with PFI anymore.

    My last two visits to my pets vet and specialist were very different from the past. They looked at my home cooked diet and made suggestions and additions. I think the pet food contamination was a learning experience for them as to what is really in those bright colored bags.

    Question: when you go to the BBB do you file the complaint within your own state or go to the state in which the companys headquarters are? How about the FDA? I have a file with them re:food in March. Do you write them and file a complaint about the ads?


  14. The Groom Room says:

    well I got into an argument with my vet over crap food they sell…she said oh yes Science Diet is good food…I said WHAT????? Have you READ the ingredients? I further challenged her…I said…you went to school for 8 years right? Right.
    You have access to the internet right? Right
    Then how come I know more about whats in pet food than you do. Who taught you about Science diet? Hills did
    I said..ok you took an oath to do no harm right? Right.
    Well if you are recommending this crap food with these crap ingredients, you ARE DOING HARM!
    nuf said.

  15. nora says:

    Yes, this is where many pet owners and their present vets will DIVIDE. If the vet argues and upholds ANY of those crap foods like Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, etc…over a well balanced and healthy home cooked diet, IT IS TIME TO GET A STEPPIN AWAY FROM THEM. OR possibly use them ONLY for the required inoculations and monthly meds for fleas, ticks and hearworms, or an emergency sickness (antibioctics required or God Forbid any injuries). Just leave the DIET up to YOURSELF. Good for you Groom Room, hopefully this was a wakeup call for your vet.

  16. sandi says:

    I will stick with Canidae


  17. Cathy says:

    I’m really glad they’re at each other. I just hope this doesn’t draw attention away from the real problems with the food. Like many of you said, most vets don’t have a clue - even the vet specialists. Let them fight, but don’t forget to keep up our fight - STOP MAKING POISON -ALL OF YOU!

  18. melisa says:

    What blows my mind is that “pet lovers” don’t stop to think about what’s in their pet’s food. For the most part it is full of fillers and other animal parts; animals who were abused and exploited! How can you say you love animals when you allow them to be killed for your pet? I am not strictly advertising a vegetarian diet but people should only buy raw food (or even kibbles) that come from happy, healthy cows/pigs/chickens/lamb. Gross, lamb? How sad! Either way, it’s discusting what these companies will do to make a buck. Speak loud with your dollar…don’t buy Colgate anything, don’t buy P&G anything (good luck, these two companies produce almost every conventional toiletry product).

  19. Donna says:

    If I won a ton of Iams food. I would compost my garden, not feed my pets.The “game” is over. Consumers have gotton wise to the “profit for lives game.” If you paint a rusted out junked car,………it’s still junk.

  20. Betsy Weathers says:

    All of these years you keep hearing “don’t let your dog eat people food, it isn’t good for them” now this….I have started buying food (human food) for my dogs and cooking for them. It is a bit more work but at least they aren’t eating crap that I am paying top dollar for which might kill them. I think it is time the consumers get what they have paid for all these years and get an actual good quality food for their pet. They certainly pay plenty for these items. That is just plain theft from these companies that make pet food from what I have learned. Well, they won’t get my money any more and I have 17 dogs right now and always around that many as I do rescue.

  21. Fiona says:

    I am in Britain and made a complaint to Advertising Standards in London that Iams adverts said that “8 out 10 Vets recommend Iams” when I knew this was not true. At the bottom of the ad it said that these figures had come from a show of hands at a meeting of the British Veterinary Small Animal Association but Advertising Standards found out that only 343 Vets had said they would recommend Iams when there are about 20,000 Vets in Britain so the ad totally mislead pet owners and Advertising Standards largely upheld my complaint that the Iams ad misleads pet owners. In another ad Iams say that cats are carnivores and that Iams contains every thing a cat needs and nothing it does not need but Iams contains 30-60% carbohydrate by the admission of Dan Carey DVM of Iams and so it does contain something cats don’t need and which veterinary research shows gives them diabetes, cystitis, kidney failure, struvite crystals, ibd, calcium oxalate stones etc. It seems Iams think they can just mislead pet owners with their ads.

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