Special K Ads Criticized for Nutrition Claims

Special K Ads Criticized for Nutrition Claims

Two Kellogg’s ads seen in the United Kingdom have been criticized for claiming Special K products are “full of goodness” and are “nutritious.”

The Advertising Standards Authority, the U.K.’s independent regulator for advertising, ruled Wednesday that the two ads “must not appear again in their current form.”

The ruling stems from a complaint challenging Kellogg’s claims. The ASA sided with the complainant.

Under the relevant regulation, general health claims must be supported and accompanied by a “specific authorized health claim,” according to the ASA. The agency did not consider the claims in the Special K ads to be sufficiently supported.

An ASA spokesperson tells the Dewsbury Reporter, an England-based newspaper:

“We told Kellogg Marketing and Sales (UK) Company Ltd. to ensure that relevant authorised health claims accompanied any general health claims that featured in their advertising.”

The first ad in question — for a product called Special K Super Porridge 5 Grains — was seen on TV in October. At issue was a voiceover making the general claim that “our new five-grain super porridge is full of goodness.”

According to the ASA, that claim was “general” and “nonspecific,” and should have been attached to a more specific claim. However, the necessary specific health claim that appeared in the ad — “contains vitamin B2 which contributes to the maintenance of normal skin” — did not appear on screen at the same time that the voiceover making the “full of goodness” claim was heard.

The second ad, for the Special K product range, was seen on www.specialk.co.uk in October. At issue was a statement that “our unique Nutri K recipe mak[es] a nutritious … start to your day.”

According to the ASA, the problem here was that Kellogg’s believed that “nutritious” was not a health claim, and therefore did not need to be accompanied by a specific authorized health claim.

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