Flora Pro-Activ ads banned for unjustified claims

Unilever has been banned from running two Flora ads that make unjustified claims about its Pro-Activ spread.

The Advertising Standards Authority received two complaints about two ads by Adam & Eve/DDB, which feature two women who lowered their cholesterol levels with Flora Pro-Activ.

The complainants questioned whether the ads’ claim that "no other food lowers cholesterol more" could be substantiated.

There are strict rules governing the nutrition and health claims that can be made in advertising. Although general health claims can be made about a food, they must be accompanied by an authorised claim.

Unilever submitted scientific studies that looked at the cholesterol-lowering properties of Flora Pro-Activ’s active ingredient plant sterols, and cited an approved claim that plant sterols can reduce cholesterol by a specific amount as part of a healthy lifestyle.

From that, Unilever argued there were no other foods or food ingredients on the market with significant, scientifically proven cholesterol-lowering effects, which it believed substantiated the "no other food lowers cholesterol more" claim.

However, the ASA ruled "no other food lowers cholesterol more" was a specific heath claim and as it was not an authorised on the European Union register, its inclusion was a breach of the Broadcasting Code.

Moreover, the authorised claim for plant sterols was: "Plant sterols have been shown to lower/reduce blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease."

The ads’ voiceover said the first part of the approved claim, "The plant sterols in Flora Pro-Activ are clinically proven to significantly lower cholesterol." But omitted the second sentence.

Unilever argued it was well known and widely publicised that high cholesterol was a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease and so the second sentence was superfluous based on the average consumer’s understanding.

Marketers can reword claims but only to make things easier to understand. The ASA ruled that omitting the second sentence did not aid the viewers’ understanding and altered the meaning of the claim and so was a breach of the code.

The ads must not be broadcast again.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer