Thursday, May 15, 2014

Is Blue Buffalo a Howling Liar?

Before it's all over, the world is going to know what really comes out of a Blue Buffalo. Hint: it's soft and warm and squishes between your toes.

Blue Buffalo is a pump and dump, lick and stick dog food company. It was created as a marketing campaign, does not manufacture it's own dog food (it hires third party contractors), has no research facilities, and basically assumes it's customers are a bunch of gullibles who can be lied to and led astray by simply sprinkling words like "natural" and "holistic" all over their advertising puffery.

When caught lying to customers and poisoning their dogs in the past, they did what so many dog manufacturers do: they blamed it on nameless faceless people. They could not possibly be at fault, they argued, because they do not even make their own dog food; they are just a marketing company.  They were lied to too! Waaaah!


But that gets to be a pretty old song the second and third time around, doesn't it?

The simple truth is that Blue Buffalo is run by pathological liars.

The first crack in the facade came when the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus waded in to tell them they had to clean up their act.  You have to be a real floater in the cesspit of corporate advertising for that to happen.  

Now more foul flags are about to be thrown.

Purina is suing Blue Buffalo in federal court in St. Louis, Missouri, saying independent laboratory analysis of Blue Buffalo's product shows the dog food company's core claims are a complete lie.

While Blue Buffalo says its pet food products contain “No Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meals" independent laboratory analysis of several of Blue Buffalo’s “Life Protection” pet food products show they in fact contain significant percentages of poultry by-product meal.

Also, it turns out that Blue Buffalo “LifeSource Bits” contain poultry by-product meal and corn, and several Blue Buffalo products that are promoted as “grain-free” actually contain rice hulls.

Testing was done from samples of multiple formulas of Blue Buffalo pet food purchased at retail stores on both the East and West Coasts.

Bottom Line: Blue Buffalo is likely to get hammered hard.  And to be clear, this is not the first time they have been caught lying about what they put in their dog food. It is not even the second or third time.

Now Purina is taking them to court and is going to use science and evidence to nail Blue Buffalo for false advertising, disparagement, and unjust enrichment, including violations of the Federal Lanham Act.

Full applause.

Before it's all over, the world is going to know what really comes out of a Blue Buffalo.

Hint: it's soft and warm and squishes between your toes.

Blue Buffalo can pay the fines.  This is not a small mom-and-pop firm. This is a say-anything marketing firm that pocketed over $730 million in sales in 2012, most of it from customers who believed the lie that Blue Buffalo was a grain- and poultry meal-free product that was better than other dog foods sold on the market.  

But guess what?  Neither claim is true.

The first claim is, apparently, a provable lie.

The second claim has no scientific support at all; it is pure puffery.

Two good things could come from the Purina lawsuit:

  • Enforced dog food label clarity as already legally required under the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007. 

  • The end of deceptive marketing in the dog food business as practiced by companies like Blue Buffalo, Honest Kitchen, Wysong, and the like.

One outcome we are not likely to see: a return of the billions of dollars pocketed from the millions of customers who were deceived by Blue Buffalo advertising malarkey.  Yes, a class action lawsuit has been filed, but the outcome of these things is never that you get your money back.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I abhor that food, and the basket of lies that accompany it. EVERY dog that comes here on it has pasty, nasty stools and their overall condition is no better than any other brand of food.

When Purina brought a suit against them I laughed like crazy and all people could do was criticize that Purina (good GAWD! PURINA!!!) does the same thing. Missing the point entirely.