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ASA bans Yakult TV ad over unsubstantiated health claims

A television advert for Yakult yoghurt drink has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for implying health benefits that were not supported by a relevant, authorised health claim.

Devised by Lowe and Partners the campaign took the form of an animation of a Yakult bottle skipping, tight rope walking and pole-vaulting with a voiceover stating: “At Yakult, we appreciate the importance of regular exercise routines. We know how important it is to keep life in balance; and to overcome life's obstacles.

“Just like Yakult's unique bacteria that are scientifically proven to reach the gut alive. Today millions of people around the world drink Yakult every day. Yakult. A bottle for you every day."

It was referred to the ASA by a complainant on the basis that the presentation of the ad implied a general health benefits which were not accompanied by a specific health claim.

In their ruling the ASA stated that an implicit reference to the Olympic Games ‘did not remove the implication that there was a relationship between the product and health.’

As such the ad cannot be broadcast again.