The Strange Reason Clif Is Changing Its Energy Bar Advertising

Correction 4/18/22: A previous version of this article omitted the word "National" from the organization name BBB National Programs.

Competition is heating up in the energy bar sector, as evidenced by the recent recommendation from the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs that Clif Bar & Company stop using the phrase "The Ultimate Energy Bar" with "an optimal blend of protein, fat, and carbs" in its advertising. According to a recent news release on PR Newswire, NAD made the recommendation on the basis of a claim lodged by rival energy bar maker Kind LLC.

NAD's mission, according to PR Newswire, is to provide "independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S." In this disputed case, NAD's findings were that Clif Bar & Company, which had been using the above-mentioned phrases in 30-second commercials as part of its "Let's Move the World" advertising campaign to inspire better physical fitness, failed to adequately substantiate its claims. The commercials had been shown via online platforms like Hulu, Roku, and YouTube, and featured professional athletes such as soccer star Meghan Rapinoe and tennis champion Venus Williams.

The ultimate energy bar title is still up for grabs

Per the news release, NAD's decision reflected their belief that the phrase "The Ultimate Energy Bar” was hyperbolic, and that the accompanying phrase "an optimal blend of protein, fat, and carbs" suggested a clear-cut superiority for the product that was not backed up by any supporting evidence. NAD also noted that Clif Bar & Company failed to display any information that contrasted their energy bars against those of their competitors, and that they did not go into detail regarding their actual amounts of ostensibly optimal protein, fat, and carbs. Clif Bar & Company is complying with the decision.

According to a report by Allied Market Research, the energy bar market share is expected to top one billion dollars by 2028. But based on this decision, it appears consumers will have to decide for themselves who has the best energy bar.