Soft drink firms deny ‘dodgy’ marketing claims

By Dan Colombini

- Last updated on GMT

The BSDA denied making 'dodgy' marketing claims
The BSDA denied making 'dodgy' marketing claims
The British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) has rejected the Children’s Food Campaign’s (CFC) decision to include it in a report of firms that allegedly made the “dodgiest” junk food claims of 2011.

The CFC placed the BSDA second in the list after accusing the organisation of claiming that it needed to add additional sugar to some drinks to achieve “desired sweetness” due to variations in climate and reduced sunshine levels.

The BDSA today (January 3) labelled these claims as “completely unfounded”​ however and accused the CFC of mistakenly quoting a technical reference to fruit juice and applying it to all soft drinks.

Accusing

Richard Laming, BSDA media director, told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The complaint by the Children’s Food Campaign is completely unfounded. The information they have quoted relates only to fruit juice and not, as they suggest, to the whole range of soft drinks.

“Fruit juice is made from fruit which varies in sweetness and, under the law, a tiny amount of sugar may be added (max 15g per litre) to correct for this natural variation. The CFC should get its own facts right first before accusing anyone else.​”

Topping the CFC’s list was Dutch/Italian confectionary firm Perfetti Van Melle, makers of Chupa Chups lollipops. The firm claimed that its yellow lollipops were made only of real lemon juice despite containing just 3% fruit, according to the CFC.

No one from Perfetti Van Melle was available for comment.

Also included in the list were Britvic Soft Drinks and drinks giant Coca-Cola, both of which were accused by the CFC of misleading marketing campaigns.

Complaint

The CFC has now complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the four most misleading claims, made by Chupa Chups, BSDA and Britvic.

The fifth ranked misleading claim, by Nutella, was also subject to an ASA complaint in August this year.

Kawther Hashem, a CFC spokeswoman, said: “It is unforgivable that junk food companies not only relentlessly target children, but also often shamelessly mislead the public with half-truths and made up so-called facts.

“If ever there was a time to regulate an industry out of control, it is the junk food industry and now we call upon the government to live up to its responsibility to protect children and the wider public. We want to see consistent advertising regulations and vigorous enforcement across all forms of media.”

The poll was carried out on December 16 last year and was answered by 1,000 people.

Related topics: Drinks

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