ASA rules Leon’s ‘superfood’ salad breached advertising laws

Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf 2

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has told Leon Restaurants that it must not use the term ‘Original Superfood Salad’ because it broke marketing rules.

Leon has been ordered not to make references to general benefits of food for overall good health or health-related well-being in brand names unless those claims are accompanied by a permitted health or nutrition claim following an investigation by the regulator.

ASA carried out a review following a complainant challenged the use of the term ‘Original Superfood Salad’.

Leon said it was aware that the term ‘superfoods’ was a general health claim. However, it argued that its use of it had been exclusively in the context of a brand name for a range of salads it had sold since 2004.

Leon said it had while current regulations require general health claims to be accompanied by specific authorised health claims, it did not apply in this case as they had been using the term in the context of a brand name which existed before 1 January 2005.

But ASA upheld the complaint, ruling that the regulation stated that only health claims listed as authorised on the EU Register of nutrition and health claims made on foods were permitted in marketing communications. And although it acknowledged that Leon had shown evidence of using variants of the name since 2004, it considered the term ‘Original Superfoods Salad’ to be a general health claim.

“Consequently, we considered the ad was not covered by the exemption under Article 28(2) of the Regulation and as such, “Original Superfood Salad” was required to be accompanied by a permitted health or nutrition claim. Because it was not, we concluded that the claim breached the Code,” ASA said.

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