ASA Adjudication on Simply Organic
19 Alexandra Road
28 July 2010
Health and beauty
Number of complaints:
A magazine ad for organic hair products called Simply Organic was headlined “Naturally Organic … Simply!” and included a logo which stated “SIMPLY ORGANIC”. Text stated “THE AWARD WINNING SIMPLY ORGANIC RANGE NOW AVAILABLE IN PROFESSIONAL SALONS”.
Herb UK challenged whether the claims "Simply Organic" and "Naturally Organic" were misleading, because they implied they met an independent organic standard.
CAP Code (Edition 11)
Simply Organic said that "Simply Organic" was the name of the US based company which designed, manufactured and sent the products to distributors worldwide. They provided registration documents for the company in the USA and the European Union and documentation and certification from some US-based certification agencies and organisations.
The ASA considered that readers would understand the claims "Simply Organic" and "Naturally Organic" to mean the "Simply Organic" product range met an independently defined organic standard. We understood, however, that there was no UK standard for organic hair products. We noted that the US organic certification provided by the advertisers covered a list of ingredients, but that we had not seen any documentation which set out which ingredients were used in the Simply Organic product range or showed whether those ingredients were covered by the certified list. Although we noted that the advertisers had provided a certificate of analysis for Certified Organic Extra Blend with a USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Organic stamp, which we noted had expired in 2007, we also noted that a Certified Organic letter of guarantee from Oregon Tilth but it did not provide any clear information about the status of the Simply Organic product contained in the ad. We therefore considered that the status of the advertised product range was unclear.
Because we understood that there was no UK standard for organic hair products and because we did not consider that we had seen sufficient documentation to show that the advertised products were certified organic by an independently defined or established US standard, we concluded that the claims "Simply Organic" and "Naturally Organic" were likely to mislead.
The ad breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 49.1 (Environmental claims).
The ad must not appear again in its current form.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)