The ads were displayed on ‘superfood’ distributor Organic Burst World’s website and Instagram page in February 2016.
The website ad stated: “Find the perfect superfoods to help you look and feel amazing fast,” while the Instagram ad claimed a product had detox properties.
Under ASA guidelines, all products that make reference to a product’s health benefits must be accompanied by a specific authorised health claim. The complaint challenged whether the adverts complied with the code.
Organic Burst World argued that the website ad was a general health claim that related to a range of its products, rather than a specific product.
Confusing for customers
As such, it believed it would have been confusing for customers to list all the authorised health claims for all the products next to the ad.
Organic Burst said that the relevant health claims would be viewable on each of the individual products.
The company also defended the detox claim on its chlorella product, as it was based on two specific “on hold” health claims that related to digestive health.
The ASA upheld calls to ban the adverts. Both ads had breached the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) code rule 15.2, for claiming Organic Burst’s products had health benefits without a specific authorised health claim.
‘We were concerned’
“The advertiser had not specified which authorised claims it was relying on, but having looked at some of the product pages on the website, we were concerned that the claims listed did not appear to be authorised health claims,” said the ASA.
The ASA said “detox” was a reference to a general, non-specific health benefit of a product and, as such, it was also required to be accompanied with a relevant authorised health claim.
“We considered that because the claim was not accompanied in the ad with a relevant authorised health claim, it therefore breached the Code,” added the ASA.
The ads must not appear again in their current form and Organic Burst must ensure that general health benefits on its site were backed up by authorised claims.