New York, NY – June 20, 2023 – A panel of the National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appellate advertising body of BBB National Programs, recommended that JBS USA Holdings, Inc. discontinue certain claims relating to its goal of achieving “net zero” emissions by 2040.
JBS is the second-largest food company and the largest animal protein producer in the world. Its numerous retail brands include Swift, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Seara.
The advertising at issue had been challenged before the National Advertising Division (NAD) by the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy (IATP), a not-for-profit organization with the stated mission of working for fair and sustainable food and farm systems. Following NAD’s decision (Case No. 7135), JBS appealed NAD’s recommendations to discontinue five challenged express claims.
In agreement with NAD, the NARB panel concluded that NAD reached the correct result in determining that the challenged claims communicate misleading messages. The NARB panel determined that the challenged claims communicate that JBS is already in the process of implementing a documented plan that has been evaluated and found to have a reasonable expectation of achieving “net zero” by the year 2040. JBS, however, does not have a formulated and vetted plan at present. Rather, JBS is in the exploratory stage of its effort directed toward the net zero 2040 goal.
The NARB panel recommended that JBS discontinue the challenged “net zero” claims, including that:
The NARB panel noted that JBS is not precluded from making the claim “Leading change across the food industry and achieving our goal of net zero by 2040 will be a challenge” when the claim is presented by itself, and that nothing in its decision precludes JBS from making narrower truthful claims regarding:
JBS stated that it “disagrees with the NAD and NARB’s interpretation of how consumers perceive the challenged claims as well as NARB’s conclusion about the record evidence, but JBS will comply with NARB’s recommendation in published statements and advertising claims going forward.”
About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.
About the National Advertising Review Board (NARB): The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) is the appellate body for BBB National Programs’ advertising self-regulatory programs. NARB’s panel members include 85 distinguished volunteer professionals from the national advertising industry, agencies, and public members, such as academics and former members of the public sector. NARB serves as a layer of independent industry peer review that helps engender trust and compliance in NAD, CARU, and DSSRC matters.