ASA rejects health claims advert

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Advertising

In a bid to protect the consumer the UK Advertising Standards
Authority this week upheld a complaint that objected to a direct
mailing for a book called...

In a bid to protect the consumer the UK Advertising Standards Authority this week upheld a complaint that objected to a direct mailing for a book called "Eat and Heal". The advertisers had published a brochure entitled "Health Alert : Special Edition. Food poisoning: 'This year's greatest threat'" and beneath the heading the brochure stated "URGENT REPORT (to be read immediately) A doctor claims: 'Your Health is in DANGER!'". The company offered a range of "miracle" foods to combat a spectrum of diseases from "chronic flu bacteria that love your fridge"​ to "Carcinogenic vegetables you should avoid"​ . The Authority concluded that not only could such propaganda encourage self-diagnosis and self-treatment of serious medical conditions but also that " it exaggerated both the risks to recipients from the conditions referred to in the mailing and the benefits in treating those conditions from buying the advertised product."​ The market for functional foods is growing each year, arguably due to the increasing desire by consumers to better their health through food and other non-medical means. As the industry grows it is not improbable that opportunities to dupe and alarm the consumer will also increase. The role of the ASA​ and other regulators in protecting the consumer will be even more invaluable.

Related topics: Policy

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