Just about a week after the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint that POM Wonderful was making false and unsubstantiated marketing claims about its health benefits, the pomegranate juice company launched a new ad campaign with a new message: sex.
The sensual television spots feature a naked Eve offering a tempting pomegranate (as opposed to an apple), Persian warriors who supposedly ate pomegranates to achieve "bodies as solid as bronze," and Greek love goddess Aphrodite giving the fruit as an aphrodisiac -- all of which seem to push pomegranates for its sexual benefits.
And POM co-founder Linda Resnick, when asked by USA Today whether she thought the fruit really could improve someone's sex life, responded with, "I certainly believe it does." But is this just a ploy to distract consumers from the FTC complaint?
Resnick says no, and that the ads are actually in response to competition from Coke and Pepsi, which she says are stealing market share by slipping pomegranate juice into their products.
Competition or not, looks like POM's got a new strategy in mind. Sex sells, right?
For more background on the FTC claims against POM, check out Eve Troeh's story.