Danone-Nutricias Cow & Gate formula advert has been blocked by the ASA over its wording

Danone-Nutricia's Cow & Gate formula advert has been blocked by the ASA over its wording

A Cow & Gate television advert in the UK has been banned after the country's advertising watchdog alleged the phrasing used by Danone was misleading.

The Advertising Standards Authority said claims the forumla provided calcium for strong bones and iron for brain development strayed too far from EU regulations on nutrition and health claims.

According to the ASA, under EC Regulation 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health Claims made on foods, only claims that appeared on the list of authorised health claims (the EU Register) could be made in ads promoting foods.

The agency banned the advert on the basis an "equivalent meaning" was used to suggest a "normally developed bone was a strong bone" and similarly the use of "provides iron for brain development" as opposed to "iron contributes to normal coginitive development."

A spokesperson for Danone's baby nutrition arm said it was disappointed that to "some degree" the ASA had "reversed their decision" from last February on the way claims are phrased.

She said when the ad was aired initially, it had been approved by Clearcast - the broadcaster-backed body that clears ads in the UK. "We believed it to be legal," the spokesperson said. "Following that, the ASA has done some investigation and given very specific rulings on words that can and can't be used."

However, she added: "We will accept their adjudication and amend our marketing accordingly."

In a further statement, the spokesperson expanded to say Danone could "continue to make calcium and iron claims for follow-on formula and ASA has provided clarity on the exact words we can use in future claims".

The statement added: "We have noted the ASA's view that a claim for iron and 'brain development' should be phrased more formally as a claim for 'cognitive development'".