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When James White, the still new CEO of Jamba Juice, stopped by our offices a few weeks ago, we’ll admit we were excited. Who hasn’t been occasionally seduced by the charms of its Pomegranate Pick-Me-Up (Jamba’s signature blend of strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate juice, and raspberry sorbet)? White came by to explain to Fast Company his strategy to turn Jamba Juice into the next billion-dollar brand and potential Starbucks slayer.

Given the whirl of controversy online about Jamba’s new ad campaign being a ripoff of the work of cult cartoonist David Rees’ Get Your War On series, White appears to have forgotten the first rule of holes: When you’re in one, stop digging. Since going public in 2006, Jamba expanded too rapidly and in the wrong locations. It had pulled back on local marketing when its competitors–such as Starbucks and Smoothie King–were growing. And last year, for the first time in the chain’s history, same-store sales were down 8.1%. Its stock price, which closed yesterday at $1.10, is so anemic that it could use an immunity boost. White was brought in from Safeway to turn around the $343 million smoothie maven.

“People know us and people like us,” White explained during his visit. “But in this day and age,” when customers can buy sandwiches at Starbucks and smoothies at Whole Foods, “they want more than frozen-fruit drinks.” Like authenticity.

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