Unilever has received an advertising boost in the UK after regulators ruled a Flora heart-health ad was not misleading.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said today (16 December) that Unilever's use of an online tool to measure "heart age" was fair.

The Anglo-Dutch food giant had used a TV ad to promote the floraheartage.com website and its Flora pro.activ range.

The ad encouraged viewers to visit the site to work out "your heart age" by answering a series of lifestyle questions.

The ASA said it had received complaints from viewers who argued that the website was not operated by "medically trained professionals" and that the site would always calculate a higher age "to scare vulnerable consumers into purchasing the Flora pro.activ range".

However, after discussions with Unilever, the ad watchdog said the "heart age tool" had been developed by experts in cardiovascular disease, even if the site was not manned by scientists.

The ASA also insisted that anyone who used the site would "understand" that the heart age tool would give a "general indication of heart health" and not a "specialised heart-health profile for every user".

The watchdog added: "We also considered that users would expect a heavily branded website for a product to recommend the benefits of that product and did not conclude that users would be misled on that basis."