Unilever forced to scrap Flora ad over false health claim
By Laurence Gibbons
- Last updated on
Unilever was forced to scrap two TV adverts for its Flora pro-activ spread after a health claim it made was found by the ASA not to have been authorised on the EU register.
Two complainants challenged the adverts that claimed ‘No other food lowers cholesterol more’.
One advert featured a woman swimming, with the on-screen text: ‘Real People. Real Results ... Isabelle, 46 years old ... Likes swimming and chatting.’
Later in the advert, a voice-over stated: “When my doctor told me that my cholesterol was high I started using clinically proven Flora pro-activ, now it’s considerably lower.” The on-screen text stated: ’Flora pro-activ contains plant sterols. A daily consumption of 1.5–2.4g of plant sterols can lower cholesterol by 7–10% in two to three weeks as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Individual results may vary.’
Following voice-overs claimed: “The plant sterols in Flora pro-activ are clinically proven to significantly lower cholesterol” and “No other food lowers cholesterol more.”
Unilever claimed there were no other food or ingredients on the market with significant, scientifically proven cholesterol-lowering effects. This fact, it argued, substantiated its claim.
The firm’s advertising agency Clearcast said its nutrition consultant believed the claim was substantiated by firm evidence.