POM Gives FTC the Raspberry

Just last week, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against POM Wonderful, calling POM’s swollen health claims “false and unsubstantiated” and based on flawed scientific research.

POM must have seen it coming, as it has already launched a counter-attack: a ripe and luscious new advertising campaign that recasts the company’s pomegranate juice as a powerful aphrodisiac and the secret formula for achieving invincibility.

The gorgeous black-and-white ads (yes, that’s Helena Mattsson as Aphrodite) cleverly transform POM from a health drink into a sexual elixir with a single viewing. And by basing its campaign on mythology, rather than science, POM seems to be taunting the FTC with a snide “what are you going to do to us now?”

My best guess (which I wouldn’t have predicted a week ago): POM will be bigger than ever. And the new campaign will go down in ad history as a masterpiece of consumer marketing—or consumer manipulation—depending on your point of view.