Remember the controversial ad campaign Chobani launched earlier this month to slam competitor Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt for the use of sucralose? Dannon sued--and won.
Chobani is ordered to stop the use of any marketing piece that mentions Dannon yogurt products, sucralose, chlorine, pool chemicals, or anything that implies Dannon is unhealthy, according to a ruling issued by the U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York.
"We are pleased with the court’s decision granting a preliminary injunction to stop this misleading advertising which is causing fear about safe ingredients, and we look forward to full and final resolution of this matter,” says Michael Neuwirth, senior director of public relations at Dannon. “Dannon considers this first step a victory for consumers who love Light & Fit.”
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Chobani says they respect the court ruling, but plan to continue insisting competitors use natural ingredients and will continue to call out those who don’t.
"This is not a marketing campaign, it's a mindset campaign, and it outlines the difference between using only natural ingredients versus artificial ingredients," says Peter McGuinness, Chobani’s chief marketing and brand officer. "While we're disappointed by the preliminary ruling, we're committed to continuing the conversation. In the end, if we can give more people more information while helping other food companies make better food, everyone wins."
Dannon argues that the purpose of the 'Simply 100' campaign isn’t education, but is slander, and asserts the ingredients found in its yogurts are safe. “Contrary to what Chobani has said, its 'Simply 100' ad campaign is not about providing consumers with choice,” Neuwirth says. “We have always used only safe ingredients to make a wide variety of yogurts that are enjoyed every day by millions of people.”