The UK's advertising standards watchdog has banned a marketing campaign for Kellogg's Nutri-Gran Soft Oaties biscuits bearing the strapline "Wholesome cookie goodness".

Consumer group Which? issued a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), arguing that Kellogg misleadingly suggested that the cookies were "healthy" - containing wheat, oats and vitamins - when, in fact, they were high in sugar and fat.

Although the cereal giant countered that it included guidance that the cookies should be eaten as part of "a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle", the ASA upheld the complaint.

"By referring only to those ingredients that could convey a nutritional benefit without also referring to those that might have a negative impact on health, the ad could imply the snack was wholly beneficial to health or that the Soft Oaties with Oat & Chocolate Chip were healthier than they were," the ASA said.

The regulator added that the headline "enhanced that impression".

However, Kellogg has rebuffed such criticism.

"This advert… made it very clear that we are talking about a cookie," a Kellogg's spokesperson told just-food.

"The 'wholesome goodness' of Soft Oaties comes from the fact that it's the only cookie of its kind that contains fibre, B vitamins and iron and we're glad the ASA ruling recognised that."

Kellogg's does not intend to use 'wholesome cookie goodness' as the basis of another campaign in the future, the company confirmed.