Wholegrain cereal TV ad ‘misled’ consumers

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an ad for Nestl矣ereals that claimed consumer should eat three portions of wholegrain every day.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an ad for Nestlé cereals that claimed consumer should eat three portions of wholegrain every day.

The watchdog upheld seven complaints that challenged the need to eat three daily servings of wholegains because it could be confused with Government health eating messages.

The Cereal Partners advert for Nestlé cereals showed people discussing the benefits of wholegrain and had a voiceover that said: “Experts say you need three servings of wholegrain a day. All of these Nestlé cereals have wholegrain guaranteed.” The onscreen straplined added: “On your way to three a day.”

Nestlé claimed US government guidelines recommended three wholegrain portions per day. Nestlé believed that two Food Standards Agency (FSA) studies being undertaken in the UK backed this claim, and would be used to develop UK public health strategies.

After taking advice from the FSA, the ASA stated there was no formal UK Government recommendation on the intake of wholegrain foods. FSA advice is currently to “choose wholegrain varieties where possible” and relates to the need for consumers to increase fibre, which is found in a variety of foods and not exclusive to wholegrain.

The ASA considered viewers were likely to interpret the claims in the ad as nutritional and that the ad implied a consensus of expert opinion on a specific quantity of wholegrain foods to be consumed daily.

The watchdog ruled that, in context with FSA advice on increasing fibre intake, the three-a-day phrase and the Government’s “five-a-day” recommendation for fruit and veg could cause confusion, and was therefore misleading.

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