Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld.
Two ads, on Organic Burst's website and Instagram page, for food products and supplements, seen in February 2016:
a. The website ad, www.organicburst.com, stated "FIND THE PERFECT SUPERFOODS TO HELP YOU LOOK & FEEL AMAZING FAST".
b. The ad posted on the advertiser's UK Instagram page, for a "Chlorella Reboot & Refresh" product, stated "detox".
The complainant challenged whether the following claims, which as general references to the benefits of the product for overall good health or health related well-being must be accompanied by a specific authorised health claim, complied with the Code:
1. "Find the perfect superfoods to help you look & feel amazing fast" in ad (a); and
2. "detox" in ad (b).
1. Organic Burst World S.A. said they had obtained advice, and understood that the claim "Find the perfect superfoods to help you look & feel amazing fast" was a general health claim. They explained that the claim related to a range of products, rather than one specific product, and as such they believed it would be confusing to list all of the authorised health claims for all of the products immediately adjacent to the phrase. They explained that consumers could click onto a product and they would be taken to a page which listed all of the authorised claims for that particular product. They understood that Implementing Decision (2013/63/EU) indicated that the authorised claims should be made "next to" or "following" the general health claim. They said use of the word "following" implied it would be encountered as a natural progression from viewing the general claim. They believed that in the context of a website, that progression would be from a landing page to a product page, where the specific claims were clearly presented.
2. They said the "detox" claim for the Chlorella product was based on two specific 'on hold' health claims which related to 'digestive health/liver health' and 'helps to maintain normal colonic function'.
According to EC Regulation 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health Claims made on Foods (the Regulation), which was reflected in the CAP Code, references to the general benefits of a nutrient or food for overall good health or health-related well-being were acceptable only if accompanied by a specific authorised health claim.
The ASA shared Organic Burst World's view that the claim "Find the perfect superfoods to help you look & feel amazing fast" was a reference to a general non-specific health benefit of the product(s) and as such, Organic Burst World was required to accompany it with specific authorised health claim(s) for each of the product ingredients that it related to.
We noted that the claim appeared on a general page that listed each of the products, and that consumers could click on each listing and would be taken onto a separate page which contained product-specific information. We noted that there were no authorised health claims on the general page.
The advertiser had not specified which authorised claims it was relying on, but having looked at some of the product pages on the website, we were concerned that the claims listed did not appear to be authorised health claims.
We therefore concluded that the claim breached the Code.
On that point, ad (a) breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 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).
We noted that Organic Burst considered the claim to be a specific health claim and that they were seeking to rely on two ‘on hold’ claims which related to “detox” in relation to Chlorella.
However, we considered that "detox" was a reference to a general, non-specific health benefit of a product and as such, it was also required to be accompanied with a relevant authorised health claim. We considered that because the claim was not accompanied in the ad with a relevant authorised health claim, it therefore breached the Code.
On that point, ad (b) breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 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 ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Organic Burst World S.A. to ensure that general health claims were accompanied by a specific authorised health claim.