CAP launches organic food ‘inflated claims’ guidelines

The Committee of Advertising Practice has told food companies that they risk being censored by the advertising industry watchdog if they claim organic products are safer or tastier than conventional food.

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has told food companies that they risk being censored by the advertising industry watchdog if they claim organic products are safer or tastier than conventional food.

Guidelines drawn up by the CAP in consultation with the industry, and published this week, aim to ensure that organic food companies provide consumers with accurate information about their products.

Over the past two years, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld complaints about ads for organic products from several well known companies including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and the Soil Association (SA).

The SA had its knuckles rapped for claiming organic food was better on taste, was healthier and more environmentally friendly. SA marketing director Martin Cottingham says that CAP has agreed to look at a SA report, due out in August, which examines the nutritional difference between organic and non-organic foods, and revise its guidelines if necessary.

CAP’s guidelines state that advertisers should not claim that organic food production uses no chemicals, fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides as some of these substances are approved by the UK Register of Organic Food Standards. They also warn against claiming organic food tastes better than similar conventional products unless they have “convincing taste test evidence that makes consumers believe that to be the case”.

Other points covered in the guidelines include price claims, health and safety and environmental claims.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here