NEW YORK AG ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH ABBOTT LABORATORIES

     (The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and
received via e-mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.) 
A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH MAKER OF PEDIASURE SIDEKICKS 
SUPPLEMENT FOR MISLEADING ADVERTISING 
Abbott Laboratories’ Claims Of Offering Nutrition For Children’s Unique Needs, 
Making Kids More Active And More Successful In Sports Were Unsubstantiated  
Schneiderman: False And Misleading Advertising Aimed At Our Children Is Unfair 
And May Be Dangerous To Their Health 
NEW YORK - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his 
office has reached a settlement with Abbott Laboratories, Inc., for conducting 
a misleading advertising campaign for its Pediasure SideKicks products – 
Sidekicks and Sidekicks Clear. The products, introduced in 2010 and 2012, 
respectively, are sugary drinks with added vitamins and minerals. A probe by 
the Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds Bureau found that Abbotts’ “You Are What 
You Eat” ad campaign conveyed the misleading impression that children who 
consume SideKicks are more active and more energetic and perform better in 
sports than children who do not consume SideKicks. The investigation showed 
that Abbott failed to substantiate this claim and the statement in print and 
internet ads that SideKicks was “targeted nutrition” for children’s “unique 
needs.” 
“False and misleading advertising aimed at our children and their parents is 
exploitative, illegal and may even contribute to the obesity crisis in our 
communities,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will prosecute 
false claims by companies that seek to hawk their products to New York parents 
who are trying to provide the best for their kids.” 
Under the agreement, Abbott, based in Abbott Park, Illinois, will cease its 
false advertising and pay a $25,000 penalty to New York State. 
To introduce and promote its new SideKicks products, starting in 2010, Abbott 
embarked on a three-year advertising campaign in print media, on the internet 
and in television commercials. As part of it’s “You Are What You Eat” campaign, 
Abbott ran ads on national networks, syndicated television shows, cable 
television, Nnational Hispanic television programs, Spot TV, Health Guru, and 
Hulu. Print ads ran in various parents’ and women’s magazines. Ads and coupons 
were also posted on Abbott’s website. 
In the ad, a girl who looks to be 10 to 12 years old drinks SideKicks at home 
before heading off to aher soccer game. At the game, the girl appears to be 
more energetic and to perform better than the other children, who seem sluggish 
and wear costumes depicting them as French fries and a chocolate frosted 
doughnut. The goalie, dressed as the doughnut, watches passively as the girl 
who drank SideKicks scores a goal. As the game progresses, the mother of the 
“French fries” child turns to the mother of the SideKicks child and states, 
“Does Tyler look a little slow? Maybe we should have skipped the 
drive-through.” The mother of the girl who drank SideKicks replies, “Well, kids 
are what they eat.” The advertisement concludes with the line, “New PediaSure 
Sidekicks...an extra kick of nutrition.”  
The Attorney General was alerted to Abbott’s advertising by advocates who 
complained that the ad misleadingly implied that pediatricians recommend 
Sidekicks for healthy, thriving children.  
As of the date of this agreement, Abbott has ceased using “You Are What You 
Eat” advertising and has agreed not to resume using the advertisements in any 
Abbott-sponsored media. Abbott has also agreed not to misrepresent the health 
or performance benefits of SideKicks products and not to represent that 
SideKicks is “targeted nutrition for your child’s unique needs.”  
With respect to its SideKicks Clear products, Abbott agreed not to display in 
its advertising and marketing, including on its internet websites, a label that 
either depicts fruit or contains the name of any kind of fruit in the product 
name. Federal law prohibits such displays for products that do not contain 
fruit or fruit juice unless the phrase “NO FRUIT JUICE” appears above the 
nutritional facts panel. 
While both drinks contain vitamins and minerals, SideKicks is a sweetened 
chocolate-, vanilla-, or strawberry-flavored shake-type beverage. SideKicks 
Clear is a sweetened fruit-flavored drink. SideKicks Clear products have fruit 
names such as “Tropical Fruit” and “Wild Berry” and depict fruit such as 
raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries on their packaging but do not, in 
fact, contain any fruit or fruit juice.   
The matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Ellen J. Fried, under the 
supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief of the Consumer Frauds & Protections Bureau 
Laura J. Levine, Bureau Chief Jane M. Azia, and Executive Deputy Attorney 
General for Economic Justice Karla G. Sanchez. 
(rml) NY
 
 
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