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Nutrition and Health Claims in TV and Radio Adverts

9 November 2009

Following the revision of the CAP code for non-broadcast advertising in January 2009, last week BCAP revised its television and radio advertising codes in order to comply with the 2006 EC Regulation, which sets out when nutrition and health claims are permitted in advertising. An example of a nutrition claim commonly made on food and drink products would be “low in fat”. An example of a health claim would be “‘helps maintain a healthy heart'”.

Examples of changes (for TV advertising) include that “food product claims that refer to a rate or amount of weight loss are not permitted” and “Advertisements must not suggest that it is necessary for the average person to augment the diet or, unless the claim is authorised by the European Commission, that dietary supplements can enhance normal good physical or mental condition.”

Breaches of the new BCAP Codes could result in complaints being made to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA). The ASA has the power to recommend that adverts must not be broadcast again without amendment. This can result in the loss of considerable investment in marketing campaigns.

Do you think these changes will do anything to promote consumer confidence in nutrition and health claims made by advertisers?

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