Times Business columnist Michael Hiltzik today takes off from the FTC's recent complaint against the health and goodness claims made on behalf of Pom Wonderful, the pomegranate juice marketed like crazy by Lynda and Stewart Resnick. Hiltzik is a pretty skeptical guy by nature. His column today looks with one eyebrow raised at the Resnicks' insistence that science proves Pom is good for prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction, cardio health and has other medical benefits.
The problem identified by the government regulators is that Pom makes its boasts in the name of marketing, but dresses them up as scientifically valid. Long experience should tell the average consumer that marketing and science seldom make for a good marriage.
Science is about trying to establish truth. Marketing is about convincing consumers that smoking the right cigarettes will get you girls even if you look like a camel, or that — as Resnick showed by marketing Fiji Water — they're being "green" by drinking water shipped from a dictatorship 5,000 miles across the sea.
Yeah, his point-by-point analysis doesn't go well for the forces of pomegranate.