Coca-Cola Vitaminwater ad banned

Coca-Cola has been censured for the second time in 18 months for “misleading” health claims made about its Vitaminwater brand.

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A poster ad for Vitaminwater stated “enhanced hydration for the nation” above the range of drinks with the words “delicious and nutritious” below.

The Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints on the grounds that the claim the product was “nutritious” was misleading and has advised Coca-Cola the ad should not appear again in its current form.

The ASA said consumers could be misled by the ad into thinking Vitaminwater was a “nutritious” drink, but most people would not expect a nutritious drink to have “the equivalent of four or five teaspoons of added sugar”.

In response, Coca-Cola said the product could be described as “nutritious” because it contained nutritionally meaningful quantities of several nutrients and 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

It said these quantities were line with the dictionary definition of “nutritious” which states “containing many of the substances needed for life and growth” and “providing substances that people need in order to be healthy”.

The ASA banned a campaign for Vitaminwater in October 2009 after ruling that claims about the health and nutritional value of the drink were likely to mislead consumers.

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