Kellogg's ad banned for misplaced health claims for Special K

Kellogg's has been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority after the watchdog ruled that a TV ad and brand website for Special K were in breach of the rules on making health claims.

The TV ad, seen last October, features various scenes of food and nature under a rendition of the song "I can sing a rainbow".

After the Special K product range is shown, the voiceover says: "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."

One complainant questioned whether Kellogg’s was entitled to make the claim "full of goodness". In its reply to the challenge, Kellogg’s said that it was entitled to make a general health claim of this kind because it had supported this with an authorised specific health claim: on-screen text reading "Special K porridge contains vitamin B2 which contributes to the maintenance of normal skin."

But the ASA said that since the text disappeared from the screen before the final part of the voiceover, the specific claim could not be said to "accompany" the general claim, and ruled that the ad breached the Code.

The website in question, meanwhile, featured the message "our unique Nutri K™ recipe makes a nutritious ... start to your day". Kellogg’s said that this referred to the nutritional content of the Nutri K flake’s ingredients, and was not an actual health claim ie. one that would suggest a health benefit.

But again, the watchdog disagreed. It said that in the context of the homepage of the Special K website, where the claim appeared, consumers would understand it to mean that Special K was "nutritious" because of its nutritional content and was therefore "good for you".

The watchdog ruled that both ads should not appear again in their current form.

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