Kellogg rapped for Special K health claims

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Kellogg called out for failing to associate 'full of goodness' and 'nutritious' claims with an EU-approved health claim. ©iStock/lenscap67
Kellogg called out for failing to associate 'full of goodness' and 'nutritious' claims with an EU-approved health claim. ©iStock/lenscap67

Related tags: Nutrition

Kellogg has been ordered to amend or pull a website and TV ad for Special K after the ads were found to breach standards on health claims.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) said Kellogg had not adequately backed-up the phrases “full of goodness”​ and “nutritious”​ in the ads with an EU authorized health claim.

Kellogg has issued an apology for the error.

The ASA found the TV ad for Special K Super Porridge 5 Grains and claims on Kellogg’s Special K UK website breached Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006​ on food and nutrition health claims, as enshrined in domestic ad codes.

‘Full of goodness’ TV ad

Kellogg Marketing and Sales Company (UK) Ltd was called out for saying “Our new five grain super porridge is full of goodness"​ in its TV ad.

The ASA accepted the “full of goodness”​ statement was a general health claim, which requires an accompanying specific authorized health claim. However, it said this authorized specific claim was not with or immediately after the “full of goodness” ​declaration.

Kellogg had argued the “full of goodness”​ statement in the TV ad was a general health claim and therefore associated it with approved EU health claim on Vitamin B2 contributing  to the maintenance of normal skin in its ad.

The ad watchdog accepted the specific skin health claim was adequate to accompany the “full of goodness”​ statement, but said it wasn’t properly associated with the general health claim and therefore breached the ad code.

‘Nutritious’ claim on website

Kellogg was also reprimanded for claims on its UK website that said "our unique Nutri K recipe mak[es] a nutritious ... start to your day".

The company argued the word “nutritious” ​was not a health claim and was instead highlighted the product’s generic nutritional credentials. It said the word was a reference to Nutri K flake’s ingredients, which contain B vitamins, Vitamin D, folic acid, zinc and iron

The ASA accepted the term “nutritious”​ was not a health claim, but said the limited context of the claim on the website implied Kellogg’s Special K was “good for you”.​ 

It said the phrase was likely to be understood as a reference to the general benefits of Nutri K flake products for the overall health.

“Therefore, it should have been accompanied by a specific authorized health claim,”​ said the agency.

Kellogg told BakeryandSnacks in a statement: "We’re pleased the ASA acknowledged that Kellogg’s has authorized health claims for both the Special K Porridge advert and the Special K website. However, we apologize for the error in not ensuring this was made clear enough for our consumers. This has now been corrected."

Claims at issue

The TV ad , which aired on October 11 last year, showed ingredients on screen with a voiceover that said: "Special K. Full of deliciousness. Full of colour. And now, with pomegranate, pumpkin seeds and raspberries. Our new five grain super porridge is full of goodness."

Text on-screen said: "Special K porridge contains vitamin B2 which contributes to the maintenance of normal skin".

The TV ad had been approved by ad clearance agency Clearcast.

The website, viewed on the same date, promoting the Special K range, said: "All Special K flakes are made with our unique Nutri K recipe making a nutritious and delicious start to your day".

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