Summary of ASA ruling

Inappropriate Health Claims: Holland & Barrett Retail Ltd breaks the UK Ad Rules with unauthorised claims their products can support weight management on hollandandbarrett.com

Section 15 of the CAP Code states that only health claims listed as “authorised” on the EU Register of Nutrition and Health claims are permitted in marketing communications for foods and supplements. In order to comply, an advertiser needs to show that the specific health claims for each of their advertised products are listed as authorised on the EU Register and that the authorised claims relate to the relevant ingredient/s in the product. Similarly, any claim that states or implies that a food has particular beneficial nutritional properties because of its ingredients must comply with the criteria set out in the Annex to the EU Register.

The ASA investigated a web page headed “Weight Management” on the website hollandandbarrett.com The ASA considered that the heading “Weight Management” constituted a health claim for the products in that section. The ruling found that several food supplements appearing in the “Weight Management” section did not contain ingredients with corresponding relevant and approved health claims on the EU Register, and thus breached the CAP Code.

Following the ruling the matter was referred to the CAP Compliance team who requested that Holland & Barrett agree to make changes to their website in light of the ASA Ruling. In the absence of a response from Holland & Barrett the decision was taken on 10 December 2019 to place their company details on this section of the ASA website.

These details will remain in place until such a time as Holland & Barrett Retail Ltd has amended the website hollandandbarrett.com to comply with the CAP Code.


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