Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld.
A website for Juice Garden Ltd, www.juicegarden.org, an online juice retailer, seen on 12 July 2016, featured a Juice menu page which included drink products named “CLEANSE”, “IMMUNE”, “ENERGY”, “DETOX JUICE”, “COLON CLEANSER”, “DRINK ME, SHRINK ME” and “FLU SHOT”.
The complainant challenged whether the following claims breached the CAP Code:
1. the claim “Flu Shot”, which was a claim that the drink prevented, treated or cured disease; and
2. the claims “Cleanse”, “Immune”, “Energy”, “Detox Juice”, “Colon Cleanser” and “Drink Me, Shrink Me”, which were subject to Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods (the Regulation), as reflected in the CAP Code.
Juice Garden Ltd stated that they did not claim to cure or prevent disease and that the claims related to the name of the drink.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand the claim “Flu Shot” to mean that the drink could help to prevent or treat flu infection. We considered the claim therefore implied that the drink prevented, treated or cured human disease, which was prohibited under the Code.
On this point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 15.6.2 15.6.2 Claims that state or imply a food prevents, treats or cures human disease. Reduction-of disease-risk claims are acceptable if authorised by the European Commission (Food, food supplements and associated health or nutrition claims).
According to the Regulation, only health claims which appeared on the list of authorised health claims (the EU Register) could be made in ads that promoted foods. Health claims were defined as those that stated, suggested or implied that a relationship existed between a food category, a food or one of its constituents and health. We considered that consumers would understand the claim “Drink Me Shrink Me”, to mean that consuming the product would result in weight loss and that the drink therefore provided specific health benefits for those trying to lose weight. We considered that consumers would understand the claim “Colon Cleanser” to mean the drink would have a beneficial ‘cleansing’ effect on the colon. However, we had not seen evidence from the advertiser to demonstrate that "Colon Cleanser" and “Drink Me Shrink Me” were authorised health claims.
The Regulation also stated that references to general benefits of a nutrient or food for overall good health or health related well-being were acceptable only if they were accompanied by a specific authorised health claim. The ad included a list of “Boosters” intended to be added to the other juices advertised. We considered that the claims “Cleanse”, “Immune” and “Energy”, in reference to the “Boosters”, were likely to be understood as references to general health benefits that would be provided by the drinks. However, the claims were not accompanied by specific authorised health claims. We also considered the claim “Detox Juice" was likely to be understood to be a reference to a general health benefit of the drink. However, we noted it also was not accompanied by a specific authorised health claim.
Because the ad made general health claims that were not accompanied by a specific authorised claim, and specific health claims which were not authorised on the EU Register, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.
On this point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications that contain nutrition or health claims must be supported by documentary evidence to show they meet the conditions of use associated with the relevant claim, as specified in the EU Register. Claims must be presented clearly and without exaggeration.
Only nutrition claims listed in the updated Annex of the EU Regulation (as reproduced in the EU Register) may be used in marketing communications.
Only health claims listed as authorised in the EU Register, or claims that would have the same meaning to the consumer may be used in marketing communications.
http://www.ec.europa.eu/food/food/labellingnutrition/claims/community_register/authorised_health_claims_en.htm. and 15.2 15.2 References to general benefits of a nutrient or food for overall good health or health-related well-being are acceptable only if accompanied by a specific authorised health claim. (Food, food supplements and associated health or nutrition claims).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Juice Garden Ltd to ensure they did not make claims that food or drink products could prevent, treat or cure disease, not to make health claims unless they were authorised on the EU Register and not to make general health claims unless they were accompanied by a specific authorised health claim.