General Mills Wins Soup Ad Bout with Campbell

General Mills can use the words "Now Even Better" to promote its Progressive Light Soup, because an advertising regulator was not persuaded by Campbell's opposition to the slogan.

Golden Valley-based General Mills, Inc., will be allowed to advertise its Progressive Light Soup as “Now Even Better,” according to an advertising self-regulatory group.

The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (NAD) announced on Wednesday that reformulated versions of Progressive Light Soup can use the slogan-which Campbell Soup Company contested on multiple grounds.

Camden, New Jersey-based Campbell argued that the claim of being “better” was unsubstantiated-and consumers may be confused about whether General Mills' product purports to be better than a previous incarnation or if it claims to be superior to Campbell's competing products.

Furthermore, Campbell said that General Mills should tell consumers how the newer version is better than a previous one, if in fact that is the advertisement's claim.

General Mills said that its advertisement represents a “stand-alone claim” comparing the soup to its previous versions. The company also told the NAD that it had increased the size of chicken pieces in certain varieties, upped the number of vegetables in a couple of flavors, decreased sodium in some, and improved the quality of beef in one of the soups.

The NAD determined that the “Now Even Better” slogan was directly referring to previous versions of Progresso soup, and the regulatory body “was not persuaded by the challenger's argument” that General Mills should need to overtly disclose the upgrades to customers.

The NAD bills its services as a time- and cost-efficient alternative to litigation. The regulatory body reviews only advertisements that are disseminated nationally.

General Mills is Minnesota's eighth-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $14.8 billion during the fiscal year that ended in May.