Background

Problem Food Claims and Misleading advertising: Skinny Caffe breaks UK Ad Rules by making unauthorised health claims and by omitting material information about their subscription packages on its website theskinnycaffe.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. 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 website www.theskinnycaffe.com makes a number of unauthorised health claims for food supplements including “Thermosyn Weight Loss Capsules”, “Weight Loss Hot Choc”, The ingredients within the products are not listed on the EU Register as authorised for the claimed effects, and as such, amount to unauthorised health claims.  Therefore, the health claims should not be made for the Skinny Caffe products.

Section 15 of the CAP Code also states that health claims that refer to a rate or amount of weight loss are not acceptable in marketing communications for food supplements.

The website also contains before and after images which refer to a specific amount of weight loss within a certain timeframe. As the product is a food supplement, health claims that refer to a rate or amount of weight loss breach the Code, such as “I lost 5lb in one week using the capsules and skinny caramel coffee”.

Section 3 of the CAP Code has rules on misleading advertising. It makes clear that free claims should only be made when the product or service is actually free and that qualifications to offers should be made sufficiently clear.

The Skinny Caffe fails to make clear when a six month subscription applies when purchasing a single product on www.theskinnycaffe.com. By omitting this material information, the ad misleads consumers. 

Despite repeated requests from the CAP Compliance team, The White Star Key Group Ltd trading as the Skinny Caffe continues to advertise problematic health claims and weight loss claims on its website, www.theskinnycaffe.com, whilst also omitting material information about their subscription packages.

Due to The White Star Key Group Ltd’s non-compliance and disregard for the CAP Code, the CAP Compliance team took the decision to place its company details on this section of the ASA website on 6 August 2019.  These details shall remain in place until they remove the claims outlined above from its website, www.theskinnycaffe.com.


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