Kellogg’s comments on decision by ASA on ‘sugar & health’ section of Coco Pops website
The ASA today declared that the ‘sugar & health’ section of the Coco Pops website breached the code for misleading advertising and substantiation.
A complaint had been made whether the claim that World Health Organisation (WHO) experts had concluded high sugar intake was not related to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer or behavioural problems in children, in the context of a website promoting a children's cereal brand, was misleading.
The ASA said: “We considered the wording of the claims implied there was absolute certainty about the claims being made, as no qualifying words were used.
“We also noted that Kellogg's referred in particular to a high sugar intake, rather than just sugar intake in general, and that the website went on to state "as well as this, the panel did emphasise the beneficial role that carbohydrates like sugars play in health". We considered that, in the context of a webpage about sugar, this claim implied the FAO/WHO 1998 report said sugar was of benefit to health. However, we noted the report emphasised that dietary carbohydrates should come from a variety of sources and did not state that sugar in particular was beneficial to health.”
In response to the decision, Paul Wheeler from Kellogg's said: "We were pleased the ASA agreed we’d used credible studies, like those from the World Health Organisation, to show the real facts about sugar but we accept we didn’t point out some studies suggesting there may be a link between tooth decay and drinking too many sugary drinks. We didn't leave it out intentionally and, given the ASA's decision, we will in future keep information as broad as possible, even if that means talking about foods we don't make.”