A TV ad for a breakfast cereal, seen in November 2011, showed a little girl getting ready for school. Whilst holding a pencil and standing on a checklist, an animated piece of the breakfast cereal went through the checklist with the girl ticking off things she needed for the day ahead. One of the items was described as a 'Mini Morning Maximiser' which the piece of cereal said was him. The girl opened her bag and the cereal walked in to it. Text at the bottom of the screen stated "Enjoy as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle". A voice-over then stated "New Kelloggs's Mini Max is a tasty mini mouthful that's packed with wholegrain fibre and a good breakfast will help get them ready to make the most of their morning".
The complainant challenged whether the ad gave a misleading impression of the nutritional and health benefits of the product as a whole because they believed it contained 18 g of sugar per 100 g.
Kellogg's said that Mini Max was not a HFFS food (i.e. high in fat, salt or sugar) and though it did contain 18 g of sugar per 100 g, they said that a typical portion was 40 g which meant that there was only 7 g of sugar per bowl. This represented just 9% of a child's GDA (Guideline Daily Allowance), which they said was in no way 'high' and far lower than most other breakfast choices. By way of comparison, they highlighted that a banana contained 17 g of sugar, a pot of fruit yoghurt 18 g and toast and jam had 13 g.
Kellogg's argued that the sugar in Mini Max was not hidden but visibly shown on the product as frosting and this was overtly shown throughout the entirety of the ad on both the character representing the cereal and the food itself in a close-up shot.
Kellogg's said that any perceived disadvantages of the sugar content of the cereal were far outweighed by the vitamin, mineral and fibre content of it. They said that the claim in the ad 'packed with wholegrain fibre' complied with the European nutrition and health claims regulations which stated that food should contain at least 6 g of fibre per 100 g in order to qualify as being 'high in fibre', which Mini Max did. They said that no health claims were made in the ad, only nutrition content claims which fully complied with health claim regulations.
Kellogg's said as well as being low in saturated fat and having no added salt Mini Max was also high in fibre, made with wholegrain and was a good source of Vitamin D, iron and six B vitamins and given these, they considered Mini Max was a nutritionally superior breakfast option.
Clearcast reiterated Kellogg's comments about the nutritional benefits of Mini Max cereal. They said that the only claim in the ad that could have been seen as a health claim was that the cereal was 'packed with wholegrain fibre'. They said that this was checked with a nutrition consultant who considered the product's wholegrain and sugar content and was happy with the claim. They said that sugar was commonly added to products that contained wholegrain fibre to make them more palatable for general consumption. Along with their consultant, Clearcast did not believe that the ad gave a misleading impression about the nutritional and health benefits of the product.
In addition, they saw the claim in the ad "a good breakfast will help them get ready to make the most of their morning" as a general message that seemed to be reasonable and in line with previously approved advertising claims.
The ASA noted that Mini Max cereal contained 8 g of AOAC fibre per 100 g and therefore qualified as being 'high in fibre' according to Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health Claims Made On Foods, which stated that qualifying foods needed to contain 6 g or more of fibre per 100 g. We considered therefore that the nutritional claim that the cereal was "packed with wholegrain fibre" was acceptable. We considered that the claim "a good breakfast will help them get ready to make the most of their morning" was not a health claim. We noted it appeared directly after the claim "packed with wholegrain fibre" and we therefore considered it would be read as a general statement about the fibre content of Mini Max.
Although deemed as being high in sugar, as it contained more than 15 g of total sugars per 100 g, we noted that Mini Max cereal was not a HFSS product. We noted that there was 7 g of sugar per 40 g portion, which we understood to represent less than 10% of a child's GDA of sugar. We also noted that the sugar in the product was clearly visible as frosting in the ad, both on the character representing the cereal and in a close-up shot of the product itself.
We therefore concluded that the ad did not give a misleading impression of the nutritional and health benefits of Mini Max cereal and that it made clear the product contained both fibre and sugar.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules
Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Advertisements must not mislead consumers by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that consumers need in context to make informed decisions about whether or how to buy a product or service. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead consumers depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the advertisement is constrained by time or space, the measures that the advertiser takes to make that information available to consumers by other means. (Misleading advertising) and 13.4.2 13.4.2 Advertisements 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. Advertisements must not give a misleading impression of the nutrition or health benefits of the product as a whole and factual nutrition statements should not imply a nutrition or health claim that cannot be supported. Claims must be presented clearly and without exaggeration and 13.4.3 (Food, food supplements and associated health or nutrition claims) but did not find it in breach.
No further action required.