Ethical issue: marketing healthy products

nutella

Many food products out in the market today claim to be beneficial to your health, but is that true in all the cases? I believe that is not the case, and using health to attract consumer’s attention to market a product when it does not provide such benefit is unethical to me. For example, Nutella is marketed as a “’healthy’ ‘nutritious’ food” when in fact it contains a sugar amount close to a candy bar. How Nutella is markted as healthy is very misleading for consumers, especially parent’s who doesn’t learn to read labels of actual ingredients and buy it to feed their children. Many consumers nowadays just browse the label and absorb information from there rather than looking closely at the ingredient chart. The way Nutella presented itself in the commercial only shows the “good” ingredients of hazelnut, skim milk and coca, but intentionally hides the sugar and fat content which misleads consumer into thinking that it could actually be a healthy meal. As a result, Ferrero (Nutella maker) paid out millions to settle the lawsuit when a mother from California decided to take action against the false advertisement. Consumers from the U.S. can file a claim if they purchased Nutella in a certain period of time. Also, they will be changing its marketing campaign as well as explicitly stating the sugar and fat content on the jar. I feel that companies promoting healthy product has a potential tendency of not disclosing full information to consumers, and thus companies should be review their marketing plans carefully. This is a serious issue as it concerns the health of consumers.

Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57423319-10391704/nutella-health-claims-net-$3.05-million-settlement-in-class-action-lawsuit/

Nutella’s commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ThIrw_LpuRA

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