Bryan Cohen Dec. 5, 2013, 8:34pm

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement Wednesday with Abbott Laboratories Inc. to resolve allegations the company conducted misleading advertising campaigns for its PediaSure SideKicks products.

Abbott allegedly conducted an ad campaign for SideKicks and SideKicks Clear that conveyed a misleading impression that children who consume the drinks are more active, more energetic and perform better in sports than children who do not drink the beverages. Abbott allegedly failed to substantiate such claims and the statement that SideKicks products contained targeted nutrition for children's unique needs.

"False and misleading advertising aimed at our children and their parents is exploitative, illegal and may even contribute to the obesity crisis in our communities," Schneiderman said. "My office will prosecute false claims by companies that seek to hawk their products to New York parents who are trying to provide the best for their kids."

SideKicks is a sweetened vanilla-, strawberry- or chocolate-flavored shake-type beverage and SideKicks Clear is a sweetened fruit-flavored drink. Both drinks contain added vitamins and minerals. While SideKicks Clear products depict fruit on their packaging, the drinks do not actually contain any fruit or fruit juice.

Under the terms of the agreement, Abbott agreed not to display a label depicting fruit or containing the name of any kind of fruit in the product name. Abbott also agreed not to misrepresent the health or performance benefits of SideKicks products. Abbott will pay a $25,000 penalty to the state of New York as part of the agreement.

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