Breaking the Promise: How Brands are Failing Society with False Claims

A video released by a prominent social media influencer regarding the sugar content in Bournvita has caused quite a stir. Mondelez India, the company behind the health drink, has responded by dismissing the allegations of high sugar content as “unscientific” and stating that the video “distorted facts and made false and negative inferences.”

The controversy has sparked a debate around the responsibility of brands to provide truthful information to consumers.

In the modern era, brands have a powerful role in shaping society. They are often seen as the guardians of our health, happiness, and aspirations. They create the products we use, the services we consume, and the messages we hear. But what happens when brands break their promises?

When they make false claims, spread misinformation, or deceive their customers? The impact can be devastating, not just for individuals but for society as a whole.

One of the most egregious examples of this phenomenon is in the field of health and wellness. Many brands make bold claims about the efficacy of their products, promising everything from weight loss to increased energy to enhanced mental clarity.

But too often, these claims are based on pseudoscience, cherry-picked data, or outright lies. When consumers buy into these promises and are subsequently let down, it can lead to feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and even despair.

Where is the backing behind tall claims

Take the case of the wellness industry, which is worth billions of dollars worldwide. From dietary supplements to detox teas to trendy exercise regimens, the market is flooded with products that promise to improve our health and well-being. But how many of these claims are backed up by science? In many cases, the answer is not many.

One notorious example is the detox industry, which promotes the idea that our bodies are constantly filled

with toxins that need to be eliminated. This has led to a proliferation of detox teas, juices, and other products that promise to cleanse our systems and leave us feeling renewed. But according to experts, there is little evidence to support these claims. In fact, our bodies already have built-in detoxification systems that can handle toxins on their own.

Another area where false claims can have serious consequences is in the realm of politics and social issues. Brands often take positions on controversial topics like climate change, racial justice, and gender equality, using their platforms to promote their values and ideals. But when brands make false or misleading statements, it can undermine public trust and exacerbate social divisions.

For example, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, many brands issued statements of support for racial justice and equality. But some of these statements rang hollow, given the companies’ histories of discrimination and inequality. Consumers were quick to call out these inconsistencies, leading

to accusations of “performative allyship” and calls for more meaningful action.

Ultimately, the problem of false promises by brands is a symptom of a larger issue: the commodification of our values and beliefs. Brands know that consumers are looking for more than just products; they want to align themselves with companies that share their values and support their causes. But too often, this leads to a superficial form of activism that prioritises marketing over meaningful change.

So what can we do to combat this problem?

One solution is for consumers to become more sceptical and discerning regarding brand claims. We should demand evidence to back up health and wellness claims and hold brands accountable when they make false or misleading statements on social

We can also support independent watchdog organisations that investigate and expose deceptive practices by brands.

Ultimately, breaking the promise is not just a problem for individual consumers; it’s a problem for society as a whole. When brands fail to live up to their promises, it erodes trust in institutions and undermines the social fabric. By holding brands accountable and demanding transparency, we can help ensure they live up to their societal responsibilities.

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