The voluntary Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rejected the company’s argument that the offending claims appeared in text written by a journalist above its ad in the Daily Express, and therefore should not be deemed to be advertising material.
The ASA said that although the text was written independently of Goldshield, its ad was booked on the basis it would appear beneath the editorial copy on rosehip extracts, and so therefore a link existed between the advert and the text, as the “entire page constituted a marketing communication”.
“We considered that, because of this reciprocal arrangement, Goldshield in fact had implicit control over the top half of the page and as such Goldshield was responsible for ensuring the contents of the entire page complied with the Code,” ASA said in its ruling published today.
“We concluded the ad should have included the words ‘advertisement feature’ or similar, clearly displayed at the top of the page. We concluded that, because it did not, the ad was likely to mislead on those grounds.”
It was also noted that the text was sent to Goldshield prior to publication although The Daily Express said this was just to correct any factual errors, not for final approval.
The Daily Express owner, Express Newspapers, said it received no money for the editorial but acknowledged the advert had been booked in the knowledge it would appear below the editorial. But it said, as was usually the case with advertorials, that Goldshield had no control over the content of the story.
It told Goldshield to amend the advert. Goldshield was not available for comment by the time of publication.
The company claimed its product Goldshield's Rozip contained an ingredient called GOPO which could, “help to keep joints lubricated and pain-free”.
The ad went on to refer to a clinical trial it said demonstrated powdered rosehip supplements were three times as effective at reducing joint pain as paracetamol.
The complainant said the claim, “Goldshield ROZIP is a specially formulated supplement containing a pure source of rosehip extract" was medicinal and therefore required a marketing authorisation from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).