Oh good, more attack ads! Not in politics—in the cutthroat world of soup. As we newly poor Americans gather our last remaining pennies from our decimated retirement accounts, hitchhike to the grocery store, and head for the soup aisle to ponder what watery concoction can best momentarily quiet our growling bellies, marketers are more determined than ever to ensure you pick their cheap concoction above their competitors'. So they're running ads savaging rivals like Progresso and McDonald's who are just wrong for America:

  • Domino's Pizza is attacking Subway: their sandwiches are inferior.
  • Campbell Soup is attacking Progresso: they are not fresh.
  • Burger King is attacking McDonald's: Big Macs are small.
  • Beer companies are in an all-out war.
  • Even New York condos are trashing each other.

Andrea Levine, director of the [National Advertising Division of the BBB], says that in August alone, the NAD had 15 advertisers challenge competitive ads that rivals had begun using — compared with six challenges in August 2007. September also saw complaints jump about 50% from last year.

It's a fact: when times get tough and money gets scarce, the knives come out, meaning attack ads are here to stay. Watch for more updates here, and not on weak-ass Perez Hilton. Thanks. [WSJ]