Who: Committees of Advertising Practice (‘CAP’)
When: 12 January 2017
Law stated as at: N./A.
CAP issued guidelines on food ads, titled “Getting your weight loss food ads in shape“, on when and how weight-loss claims can be used in the food sector. These guidelines focus on 5 topics; with key points on those topics including the following:
On health claims:
- use claims listed on the EU Register;
- make sure your product meets the conditions of use for the claim chosen;
- relate the claim to the ingredient (and not to the product); and
- avoid claims that refer to weight loss.
On nutrition claims:
- use claims listed in the Annex of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006; and
- if you’re making a comparative claim, use products from the same category and same quantity.
- if you use claims listed as on hold, make sure they are in compliance with Section 3 (Misleading Advertising), and support them with evidence; and
- monitor EFSA opinions.
- On branding:
- if your branding has been created after 1st January 2005, and it makes unauthorised nutrition or health claims, make sure to accompany it with a related authorised claim that the product meets the conditions of use for.
- On weight-loss programmes:
- check the rulings in Forever Living Products (UK) Ltd and Jane Plan Ltd to see whether your ad falls under Section 15 of the CAP code.
Why this matters:
The booming healthy lifestyle industry has led to a raising number of claims on food products. The CAP note summarises existing guidance on the interpretation of Section 15 of the CAP code on Food, Food Supplements and Associated Health or Nutrition Claims in relation to weight loss food ads. This is not news, (see link), but it shows that the ASA and CAP are keen to raise awareness and keep an eye on the food sector. Advertisers using claims like superfood, no added sugars, etc. would do well to take this guidance into account.