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Smoothie ad rapped by watchdog

Innocent smoothie health claims unproven


Innocent smoothie

An advert promoting the detoxifying and health-boosting effects of an Innocent smoothie broke industry rules, the ad watchdog said today.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the company failed to prove claims it made in a press advert. Text in the ad claimed the ‘natural detox superfoods smoothie’ contained ‘even more antioxidants’ than five daily portions of fruit and vegetables.

A reader challenged whether the smoothie had a detoxifying effect and whether it contained more antioxidants than five portions of fruit and vegetables.

Innocent detox claims

Innocent Ltd told the ASA that the smoothie contained fruits with a high level of antioxidants which neutralise free radicals – toxins – that could damage the body’s cells. It claimed that this ‘soaking up of free radicals’ detoxified the body.

But the watchdog said drinking plenty of water and eliminating alcohol from the diet helped cut toxins in the body. It added that ‘neutralising’ or ‘soaking up’ free radicals wasn’t removing them from the body.

The ASA said Innocent’s evidence had failed to prove the smoothie provided more antioxidants than five daily portions of fruit and vegetables.

The company said it had no plans to use the advert again or make similar claims in future.

Rimmel ad could mislead

In another decision announced today, Rimmel mascara adverts featuring Kate Moss were deemed misleading.

The ASA investigation found the model’s eyelashes had been digitally enhanced and there was no evidence to support the ad agency’s claim that she wasn’t wearing false eyelashes on the shoot.

Magazine and TV ads for Rimmel’s Magnif’eyes showed the model and the claim that the mascara provides ‘70% more lash lift’ but the ASA said it could mislead viewers as it referred to a change in appearance rather than actual length.

Advertising agency J Walter Thompson told the ASA that Kate Moss’s lashes had been ‘cleaned up and enhanced’ but did not explain how much they’d been retouched.

The ASA concluded that the images may have exaggerated the benefits of the product and were likely to mislead.

It told Rimmel not to repeat the advert in its present form and to include a disclaimer in future ads where post-production techniques or false eyelashes had been used.

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