NAD doesn’t have much of a sense of humor when it comes to taste tests. A recent Ocean Spray commercial featured two cranberry growers who announced they are “doing a taste test” for “Ocean Spray cranberry juice versus vegetable juice.” After tasting the cranberry juice, one grower smiles and says “tasty.” As he is bringing the bottle of vegetable juice to his lips, the other grower states, “Now the vegetable juice . . . with more than 10 times the sodium of cranberry juice. “ The grower holding the vegetable juice bottle then decides not to drink it, pours it out into the bog, and proclaims “We have a winner,” as he raises the bottle of cranberry juice. Although NAD characterized the commercial as “perhaps, tongue-in-cheek,” it determined that the language “We’re conducting a taste test” coupled with the visual of the second grower tasting Ocean spray’s product and then declaring it “tasty” and the “winner” conveyed a superior taste test message requiring substantiation. Although Ocean Spray did have scientific substantiation for its taste test claims (gathered after the ad was aired!), NAD determined that the taste test evidence was “insufficiently reliable” to justify the implied superior taste message. First, the sample population was flawed because it did not include consumers who customarily drink cranberry juice blends and vegetable juice. Second, the study demographics did not accurately reflect the demographics of those who drink vegetable juice. Finally the advertiser did not include a “no preference” option. NAD said that asking the following question was insufficient to indicate that a respondent had no preference: “which one, if either, do you think tasted better—the one you tried first or the one you tried second? “ NAD said that the advertiser should have asked “which one, if either do you think tasted better—the one you tried first, the one you tried second, or neither?” NAD also determined that the visual of the grower dumping the vegetable juice into bog and refusing to taste it, coupled with the language about sodium levels, “reasonably conveyed the potentially misleading message that V8 contains an alarming it not (unhealthy) level of sodium.” Ocean Spray is appealing the decision so NAD will be bogged down with this matter for a while.