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Nestlé can no longer claim Nesquik is a ‘great start to the day’ following ASA ruling

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By Charlotte McEleny | Asia Editor

December 23, 2015 | 4 min read

Nestlé has been taken to task for a Nesquik ad on an Asda own brand milk bottle because it encouraged poor nutritional habits in children.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an ad, following a complaint from the Children’s Food Campaign that claimed Nesquik was a ‘great start to the day’ while also promoting its nutritional values.

Within the complaint the use of the Nesquik bunny was specifically targeted because that is what ensures the product is marketed to children. In response to the ruling, Nestlé admitted the rabbit may appeal to children but that it was used to promote the product as part of a balanced diet.

The watchdog warned the milkshake brand not to promote health benefits in future “unless they were accompanied by a related specific authorised claim”. Future ads were also barred from encouraging poor nutritional habits to children.

The Children’s Food Campaign welcomed the ruling but also lashed out at regulators for not doing enough, calling for greater government involvement.

Malcolm Clark, coordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign, said: “Without stronger rules, more quickly enforced and with higher penalties for repeat offenders, there is little incentive for companies to improve their marketing practices. The government should no longer leave marketing rules in the hands of industry and advertisers, but take a stronger lead in its forthcoming obesity strategy and introduce tougher restrictions protecting children.”

The marketing of products to children, particularly those with high sugar contents, has been a big topic this year. High profile interjections from celebrities such as Jamie Oliver, coupled with major retailers such as Tesco delisting high-sugar products, such as Ribena, has put both the marketing and the formulation of the products under intense scrutiny.

Clark also said that more shops should be following Tesco’s lead: “Supermarkets also need to step up and take responsibility for the promotions that go on their shelves. Asda and other retailers should follow Tesco’s lead in asking more from the big brands they stock, and not being afraid to remove the most sugary products and promote the healthier alternatives.”

Alongside the complaint around the ad influencing children, there was a complaint aimed at the irresponsible use of the Government’s Change4life logo on the Asda milk that was features on the mySupermarket website. This part of the claim was not upheld.

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