BodyArmor's ‘Superiority’ Claims Challenged

Issue heads to the FTC following a complaint from competing sports drink Gatorade


Up-and-coming sports drink BodyArmor SuperDrink has been endorsed by some of the biggest names in sports and has the added financial backing of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant.

But what BodyArmor does not have, according to the National Advertising Division (NAD), is evidence to support claims that it provides superior nutrition and hydration in comparison to competing sports drink Gatorade, which brought a complaint to NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory body, earlier this year.

In April, NAD recommended that BodyArmor drop or modify the superiority claim as well as one that marketed the drink as having two and a half times the electrolytes of the leading sports drink. Last week, NAD said BodyArmor disagreed with its recommendation and wouldn’t participate in its process. So NAD referred the issue to the FTC.

According to NAD: “The company contended that its electrolyte-rich formula is in fact an ‘upgrade’ over Gatorade’s formula and said it was prepared to defend its advertising and formulation in the marketplace and in forums where it would have full due process rights.” reached out to BodyArmor for comment on NAD’s action but did not receive an immediate response.

Drink up more of our coverage on the beverage industry here.



When US Companies Help the NSA

Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson on blurring borders in an Internet age and the tension between national security and personal privacy


A year and a half into the release of classified documents by Edward Snowden, the existence of far-reaching National Security Agency surveillance is common if controversial knowledge.

But until The Intercept published new documents this month, the role of American companies in that surveillance was less than clear, ProPublica’s Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson tell Editor-in-Chief Steve Engelberg in this week’s podcast.


The new documents describe "contractual relationships" between the NSA and unnamed U.S. companies and reveal that the NSA has "under cover" spies working at or with some of them. And indeed, it would be difficult for the NSA to do its work without their help, Larson says.

“The important thing about today’s communications infrastructure is that it doesn’t respect country borders,” he says, “You’re no longer looking at Soviet signals in Russia – you’re trying to cast a wide net and collect information that’s traveling maybe through the United States while it goes from, say, London to China.”

The cooperating companies in question, though unnamed in the new documents, are almost certainly telecommunications companies that lay the fiber for data communications, Angwin says, as they “are really the first point of attack for anyone who’s trying to do surveillance, whether they’re a criminal, or the NSA.”

Aside from privacy concerns, Angwin also notes there’s the simple question of cost – surveillance has quadrupled to $80 billion since 9/11 – vs. benefit. “We’re, you know, a year and a half into the Snowden leaks,” she says, “and the NSA has yet to provide clear evidence that any of the surveillance has worked to prevent an attack, right?”

Hear the full podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher, or read more:

NSA Documents Suggest a Close Working Relationship Between NSA, U.S. Companies

Revealed: The NSA’s Secret Campaign to Crack, Undermine Internet Security

Claim on “Attacks Thwarted” by NSA Spreads Despite Lack of Evidence

The NSA Revelations All in One Chart



CSR Reporting, legal and fiscal due diligence by NGOs

Moneylife's seminar with Mr Noshir Dadrawala on the various intricacies of the changed scenario as a result of the CSR norms applicable from this year, under the Companies Act 2013.


There is unlikely to be a flood of money coming into the hands of NGOs, said Mr Noshir Dadrawala, philantrophy expert addressing a seminar on legal compliances required under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mandated by the new Companies Bill.

MrDadrawala pointed out that the government and corporate India had already revised downwards to Rs 16,000 crore, the estimate of CSR funds that were likely to be available from companies that fall in the target bracket.  This is down from the earlier estimate of Rs20,000 crore. India is the first country in the world to make CSR spending mandatory for the private sector and Mr Dadrawala narrated how the new government was continuously grapplying with the definition of what activities fall under the ambit of CSR under the act. The list was constantly changing and the rules were still evolving.


Mr Dadrawala also pointed out that while this wasn't great news for NGOs, there wouldnt be a hefty business opportunity for innumerable self-styled CSR experts that had sprung up in India.

Mr Dadrawala was addressing a packed audience at Moneylife Foundation, comprising largely of NGOs and corporte offcials on the provisions of the act and legal compliance required under it.

 Mr Dadrawala gave a general introduction to the CSR environment as it stands today.


He spoke about the prevailing optimism among NGOs and NPOs about the possible flood of charity money that the semi- mandatory CSR norms under the Comapnies Act 2013 would bring. He dispelled any notions that the audience had that a whole lot of money would be coming their way and that fund-raising would suddenly become a cake-walk.

Considering the mandated nature of the CSR norms, Mr Dadrawala said that in spite of the hurried drafting of the act during its initial passage, there were still frequent notifications that keep modifying the application of the law. “Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) is the most confused entity CSR today. If you think the corporates and NGOs are confused, the government is even more confused than them. They have issued 3 notifications with back and forth regarding just the Schedule 7 of the law, and that too in just 6 months.”

Mr Dadrawala is the Chief Executive of Mumbai-based Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy, an NGO specialising in charity laws, CSR compliance for companies and good governance for non-profits. Among his various other achievements and work, is one of Directors of Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium (APPC), member of the Coordinating Committee of Worldwide Initiatives & Network of Grant-makers (WINGS), Fellow of the Centre for Study of Philanthropy (New York), and member of the advisory council of the International Centre for Not-for-profit Law. His work has also included teaching and educating in the field of philanthropy and has written numerous books on the subject too.

He spoke about the different kind of NGOs that can be registered and the ways to go about this. However, in the matter of exemptions, “Exemptions under 80 (g) alone are not really attractive to corporates. 80 (g) may be said to be a graduation degree, 35 (a) (c) could be considered a post-graduation and an exemption under 35 (1) (2) is like a PhD. If you have a 35 (1) (2) exemption, corporates will tend to look at funding you seriously.”

He took questions from a very active audience all through the session and was more than forthcoming in his replies. The topic of registering as a trust, society and a Section 8 entity was also discussed, while speaking about the various pros and cons of each type of NGO.

He said that, “some corporates are still under the impression that section 135 amd by extensio nthe CSR rules apply to them from some time in the future, but the section is enforceable since this assessment year itself.” He explained that to better understand definitions and other things under the law, allied laws like FCRA rules are a good guide.

Taking the audience through the stages of evolution of philanthropy itself, to the motivations behind philanthropy, he then came down to the nitty gritty of the act and its various provisions. In terms of CSR, Section 135 (1) decides whether a corporate must conform to the CSR spend requirements.

“Any experimenting that you want to do under CSR and the expenditure ofthe money, do it this year,” he said. His point was that the list of negative exclusions of what 'shall not' qualify as CSR will only grow as Indian companies look for ways to wriggle out of spending money on real and important CSR activities. The liberal interpretations of the Schedule 7 meant that a wide range of issues and projects could be taken up under the CSR mandate of a corporate.

Then there was the thorny issue of CSR reporting to consider. He explained that there was a serious amount of responsibility at the feet of the directors who would form a part of the CSR committee of the corporate. As such, reporting is one of the most legally important provisions. He explained that punitive action under the CSR law is reserved for non-disclosure, which is why the great importanc to reporting. There is little punishment in response to mis-application of the monies spent under the act yet.

With the background of the MCA's projections under CSR spends that will soon be needed under the law, Mr Dadrawala took on questions once again in the end and tried to resolve as many questions as possible.


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