Maltesers and Jaffa Cakes ads banned over health claims
TWO adverts, for Jaffa Cakes and Maltesers, were banned yesterday for suggesting the products were low-fat or low-calorie.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that an advert featuring the statement that a Malteser contains "less than 11 calories" gave the "misleading impression" that the sweet was low in energy.
The watchdog also criticised a Jaffa Cakes advert that said each cake had "only one gram of fat". Again, it said this suggested the product was low in fat.
Both can no longer in shown on TV in their current form.
The Jaffa Cake commercial showed two women chatting about a friend, Michelle, who had called claiming she was stuck down a well. One says to the other: "Don't worry, she's always lying. Last week, she said there was only one gram of fat in a McVitie's Jaffa Cake."
Both women start to laugh and a voiceover states: "Michelle isn't lying. Each delicious McVitie's Jaffa Cake really does have only one gram of fat."
Two viewers complained the advert was misleading because it implied the cakes were a healthy snack by focusing on the amount of fat in one cake while ignoring the percentage fat content.
The ASA decided it did not give the impression that Jaffa Cakes were a healthy snack, as the viewers had complained, but it did rule that the "one gram of fat" claim did make it appear that the product was low in fat.
Regulations state that low-fat claims cannot be made for products with more than 3g of fat per 100g for solids – Jaffa Cakes have 8g per 100g.
The ASA said: "We concluded that the claim 'only one gram of fat' misleadingly suggested that Jaffa Cakes were low in fat."
A spokeswoman for United Biscuits, which makes Jaffa Cakes, said it had received no complaints about the advert.
He went on: "We believe the 'only one gram of fat' message, which is an accurate statement of truth, is helpful to consumers and was not intended to be a low fat claim."
The watchdog also criticised an advert in which a woman offers her friend a Malteser, telling her: "Less than 11 calories each."
The other woman disappointedly replies: "Yeah? That's not very naughty."
Mars, the maker of Maltesers, said the calorie comment was supposed to be a factual statement about the number of calories per sweet and not a suggestion they were low in energy.
But the ASA decided the "less than 11 calories each" comment did suggest they were low in calories, especially in a commercial that emphasised Maltesers not being so "naughty".
A Mars spokesman said: "It is true that Maltesers contain less than 11 calories per 2.1 gram sweet. This phrase was intended as a statement of fact on the number of calories in each Malteser rather than to suggest that the product is 'low energy'."
Jeanette Nugent, a spokeswoman for the Chocolate Society, set up to represent chocolate connoisseurs, said:
"People should try to develop a taste for dark chocolate because its higher cocoa content means it contains far less sugar than the average chocolate bar."
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