In a battle pitting Cocoa Pebbles against Cocoa Dyno-Bites, the Flintstone namesake cereal recently won a round over its knockoff rival.
Cocoa Pebbles’ maker, Post Foods, prevailed in an advertising tiff with Minnesota’s MOM Brands, maker of Malt-O-Meal cold cereals, which are mostly patterned after more established brands.
A national advertising self-regulatory group this week recommended that MOM Brands discontinue certain marketing claims based on taste tests. Lakeville-based MOM, however, said it will appeal the finding.
Post challenged claims made on product packaging, as well as in point-of-sale, internet and TV ads. The claims included that Cocoa Dyno-Bites, Fruity Dyno-Bites and Honey Buzzers won in taste tests over Post’s Cocoa Pebbles, Fruity Pebbles and Honeycomb respectively.
The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureaus shot down a couple of Post’s claims and said MOM Brands sought to design its taste tests in accordance with the ad group’s precedents.
However, NAD was concerned that while MOM made “national” taste claims about its Malt-O-Meal cereals, it used only one testing center in the Northeast instead of at least two. MOM Brands said it conducted tests in 10 locations throughout the country. NAD also questioned the age range of taste test subjects in the Malt-O-Meal ads.
MOM Brands, in its “advertiser’s statement” to NAD, said it agrees with most of the group’s decision, but is appealing NAD’s finding on taste testing. The appeal will heard by an advertising self-regulatory review board.