Summary of Council decision:
Three issues were investigated, all of which were Upheld.
Two websites, for weight loss supplements:
a. The web page http://news7reporter.net/uk/weight5/?t202id=12777&t202kw=FF2 was headed "Raspberry Ketone Diet Exposed: Miracle Diet or Scam? As part of a new series 'Diet Trends: A look at UK's Top Diets' we examine consumer tips for dieting during a recession ... AS SEEN ON Woman, guardan.co.uk, Lorraine and This Morning". Further text stated "Julia Miller, our Health and Diet columnist, recently put the Raspberry Ketone Diet to the test. After four weeks of testing the effects of UK's Newest Superfood combined with a colon cleanser, she has reached the conclusion to what this diet is all about, and the results were surprising. She lost 25 pounds in 4 weeks". The web page also featured Julia's diary, which described her experience using two products "Ketone Premium" and "Cleanse Premium" and stated "Raspberry Ketone encourages weight loss and increases energy ...". A number of links were provided which directed consumers to websites that offered a "free trial" of the products.
b. The web page was headed "SPECIAL REPORT: How To Lose 14 Kilos of Stomach Fat in Just 1 Month With These 2 Diet Cleanses That Celebrities Use. This report was created by Women's Health to expose the truth behind a very weird diet ... AS SEEN ON ... BBC ... Good Food". Further text stated "You may have heard of the enormously popular Raspberry Ketones in the news. These so called Super Foods that you take as a supplement to lose weight have been getting a lot of international attention ... Jennifer Miller from Sheffield was reported to have lost a healthy 17 Kilos in just 5 weeks while being on the Raspberry Ketones and Colon Cleanse combo diet ... Ketone Premium has been clinically proven to: 4 Times More Weight Loss Than Diet and Exercise ... There were various links on the web page which directed consumers to websites that offered a "free trial" of the products.
The complainant challenged whether:
1. the ads breached the CAP Code, because they referred to a rate or amount of weight loss;
2. the advertiser could substantiate that the health claims for the products were authorised on the EU Register of nutrition and health claims and met the associated conditions of use; and
3. the ads were obviously identifiable as marketing communications.
1.,2.& 3. Ketonepremium.com did not provide a substantive response to the complaint.
The ASA noted that both ads made reference to a rate or amount of weight loss, which was not permitted in relation to food or food supplements, and we concluded that the ads breached the Code.
On this point, the ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 15.6.6 15.6.6 Health claims that refer to a rate or amount of weight loss. (Food, food supplements and associated health and nutrition claims).
We noted that Ketonepremium.com had not provided any evidence to show that the health claims in the ads were authorised on the EU Register of nutrition and health claims and met the associated conditions of use. We therefore concluded that the ads breached the Code.
On this point, the ads 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 15.7 15.7 Nutrition and health claims for food supplements must be permitted or authorised as provided for at rule 15.1.1 above. 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. (Food, food supplements and associated health and nutrition claims).
We considered that the presentation and content of both ads implied that they were editorial pieces which had been written by independent parties. Because that was not the case, and the ads were not clearly marked as advertorials, we considered it was not clear that the ads were marketing communications and we therefore concluded that they breached the Code.
On this point the ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 2.1 2.1 Marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such. and 2.4 2.4 Marketers and publishers must make clear that advertorials are marketing communications; for example, by heading them "advertisement feature". (Recognition of marketing communications).
The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Ketonepremium.com to ensure it was clear their ads were marketing communications and not to state amounts or rates of weight loss, or make unauthorised health claims, in future.