The Turmeric Co. incurs ASA wrath with disease-fighting claims
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which oversees such claims said a post on The Turmeric Co.'s Facebook account, dated 26 December 2020, breached the code by ‘stating or implying a food could prevent, treat or cure human disease.’
“We also told Innate-Essence Ltd (t/a The Turmeric Co.) to ensure future ads did not make health claims that were not authorised on the Great Britain nutrition and health claims register, which applied to the advertising of foods from 1 January 2021.
“[The Turmeric Co] must not to make references to general benefits of a nutrient or food for overall good health or health-related well-being unless those claims were accompanied by a relevant, authorised health claim.”
In response, The Turmeric Co, founded by professional footballer Thomas Hal-Robson Kanu, said that after reviewing the ad they, “understood that the claims made were not permitted under the Code,” and that they should, “not have made claims that their product could treat human disease.”
The firm added they had removed the ad and would review past and future content to ensure that it was compliant with the CAP Code.
What was the issue?
At the centre of the ad were a series of captions that stated, "Bid farewell to stubborn aches and pains with our natural anti-inflammatory immunity-boosting shots.
“Imagine waking up without those lasting aches and pains that are holding you back! Our range of specially-formulated turmeric shots are a proven way to help you feel like your normal self in no time … a tried and tested way to effectively tackle lasting aches and pains directly at the source”.
A video included in the post stated, “We’re beginning to understand the impact that regular usage of this incredible root can have on overall health … because of these turmeric shots, I was able to come back from severe injuries and surgeries. They truly saved my career.”
Text in the video stated, “Fights inflammation. Improves joint health. Increases energy. Supports immunity. Improves heart health. Improves gut health.”
In response to the single complainant, ASA said consumers would understand from the ad that taking the product could help treat sports-related injuries, and inflammation.
ASA considered the ad made disease treatment claims for a food supplement and concluded that it breached the Code.
“We considered, “Improves joint health,” “Increases energy,” “Supports immunity, ”improved heart health,” and “Improves gut health,” to be specific health claims for the purposes of the Code,” they said.
No EU authorisation
ASA added they had not seen any evidence which demonstrated these claims were authorised on the EU Register, or that the product met the conditions of use associated with any authorised claims.
Explaining their decision, ASA refereed to the Code, which stated that general health claims could be made in relation to food supplements only if they were accompanied by a relevant specific, authorised health claim. However, the ad did not contain any.
“We welcomed The Turmeric Co.’s assurance that the claims would not appear again in their future marketing communications.
“However, because at the time the ad was seen it made specific health claims that were not authorised on the EU Register, and featured a general health claim that was not accompanied by a specific authorised health claim, we concluded that it had breached the Code.”