Danone rapped for misleading health claims

Related tags Nutrition

Leading French dairy firm Danone has been ordered to drop
misleading health claims from advertisements in the UK for one of
its yoghurt brands.

The ad claimed that its Shape yoghurt was made with 'added nothing' and was 'virtually fat free'. But rival firm Muller alerted the UK's Advertising Standards Authority to a 0.9 per cent fat content in the product, claiming that dairy industry guidelines only allow the 'virtually fat free' claim for up to 0.3 per cent fat.

The ASA​ upheld this complaint, although it noted that only a voluntary code existed for dairy labelling guidelines. However, it referred to the Food Standards Agency, which recommends that 'low fat' be used for foods containing less than 3 per cent fat and 'fat free' should be used for foods that contain less than 0.15 per cent fat. The Authority considered that a fat content of 0.9 per cent in the advertisers' yoghurts did not justify the claim 'virtually fat free'.

The ASA also upheld a consumer complaint about the use of the term 'added nothing'. Although the brand contains no artificial additives, because the yoghurts do contain other additives the authority considered this claim to be misleading.

Consumers were likely to infer from the claim that the yoghurts contained yoghurt and fruit only and no additives, said ASA.

Danone UK said it would not use such claims again.

The ASA rejected a third complaint about the same advert that challenged whether Shape contained 'real fruit'.

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