ASA slams Nutella ad’s misleading health claims

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has slammed an ad for Ferrero-owned chocolate spread brand Nutella for making “misleading” health claims.

It has upheld 53 complaints about the ad, which showed children eating toast with Nutella, while seated with orange juice and a cereal bowl.

The ad, created by Krow, claimed Nutella “can be part of a balanced breakfast that can keep them going”. It also said that a jar of the spread contains 52 hazelnuts, the equivalent of a glass of skimmed milk and some cocoa.

*The watchdog ruled that the ad implied Nutella made a more significant nutritional contribution to a balanced breakfast than it does. The ASA said small quantities of sugar and fat were recommended, but added Nutella contains high levels of both.

The watchdog has also upheld five complaints against Picture Loads for making light of borrowing money. It is the second time Picture Financial Services has been rapped for trivialising debt (MW October 11).

The first ad showed a woman filming her husband, who is talking to the loan company and joking about football. A second execution showed a man being handed a mobile phone so he could arrange a loan while at a football match.

Picture argued the ads showed people making initial moves towards a loan but not arranging the actual details. However, the ASA found that the ads implied that loan decisions and money borrowing could be treated as a casual, everyday occurrence.

*The watchdog has also dismissed a viewer complaint about a Tomy TV ad for Thomas the Tank Engine.

The ad showed a child putting its hand over “proper steam” coming from Thomas’s chimney. A voiceover said: “Thomas is puffing proper steam, and it’s safe steam too”.

A viewer complained that her child attempted put its hand into kettle steam because the ad made it seem safe. The ASA said children would understand it was “special” steam and would know kettle steam is dangerous.

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