Kellogg’s Gets Rapped By Advertising Watchdog Over Unclear Health Claims

21 Jul 2016 --- Kellogg’s UK has apologized following an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling that states the cereal company made unclear health claims during a TV commercial for its Special K brand.

Reacting to the ASA ruling on July 20, Kellogg’s told FoodIngredientsFirst it has amended its advertising after the ASA verdict.
 
“We’re pleased the ASA acknowledged that Kellogg’s has authorized health claims for both the Special K Porridge advert and the Special K website. However, we apologize for the error in not ensuring this was made clear enough for our consumers. This has now been corrected,” a spokesperson tells us.
 
“Special K is nutritious - it's cereals and porridges contain fiber and wholegrain, and are a source of valuable vitamins and minerals.”
 
The apology related to a TV commercial and website advertising for the Special K brand where the food giant told consumers that its Special K cereal is “full of goodness” and “nutritious” in a British advertising campaign last October.
 
In the TV commercial, the Special K cereal was promoted as a “five grain super porridge full of goodness” and the website also claimed the Nutri K flakes used in Special K help make “a nutritious start to your day.”
 
However, following a complaint, the ASA launched an inquiry which has now been completed. It rules that Kellogg’s did not support these general health claims with specified authorized benefits, which is a stipulation of ASA rules.
 
The ASA’s ruling says: “The ASA shared Kellogg’s view that the claim “full of goodness” was a reference to a general, non-specific health benefit of the product and as such, we agreed that Kellogg was required to accompany it with a specific authorized health claim.
 
“The authorized health claim (in this case “… contains vitamin B2 which contributes to the maintenance of normal skin”) should be presented in such a way that it was clear that it accompanied that general health claim; it should be made next to or immediately following the general health claim.”
 
“The specific authorized health claim was shown on screen but we noted it disappeared before the general health claim “full of goodness” was stated in the voice-over. We therefore considered the specific health claim did not appear with or immediately following the general health claim “full of goodness”. As such, we considered it did not accompany the general health claim and in that regard, the ad breached the Code.”
 
Talking about the website advert which used “nutritious” on the Home page, the ASA ruling says: We acknowledged Kellogg’s view that the term “nutritious” highlighted the nutritional credentials of the Nutri K flake and that it was not a health claim.
 
“The claim appeared on the home page of www.specialk.co.uk and we considered that in that context consumers would understand that the claim was about Kellogg’s Special K cereal. However, without any further information to help consumers understand the context of the claim we considered they were likely to interpret it as one which implied that Kellogg’s Special K was “nutritious” because of its nutritional content and was, therefore, “good for you”.
 
“As such, we considered the claim “Our unique Nutri K recipe mak[es] a nutritious ... start to your day” was likely to be understood as a reference to the general benefits of Nutri K flake products for the overall health of consumers. Therefore, it should have been accompanied by a specific authorized health claim.”
 
by Gaynor Selby

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