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Fat content forces change in dressing ads

Published Oct. 12, 2005

Saying Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressings were laced with hidden fat, the government announced that Clorox Co. would change the way it advertised the popular products.

The Federal Trade Commission said Clorox had agreed to a consent decree barring it from misrepresenting how much fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and salt was in its dressings.

Recent television ads for the company's lower-calorie Hidden Valley "Take Heart" dressings showed them being poured liberally over salad as announcers touted them as fat free.

The products actually contain 1 to 2 grams of fat per two tablespoons, depending on the variety, the FCC said Thursday. It added there was no way any reasonable serving of the dressings could be considered fat free.

Under the agreement, Clorox cannot misrepresent the amount of fat and saturated fat in any salad dressing relative to serving size.

The agreement also applies to claims about cholesterol and salt content.