Cereal Partners UK has had its wrist slapped over a "no added sugar" claim in its ad

Cereal Partners UK has had its wrist slapped over a "no added sugar" claim in its ad

The UK advertising watchdog has banned an ad from Nestle and General Mills-owned Cereal Partners Worldwide after it was claimed the ad was misleading.

The ad featured Honey Nut Shredded Wheat and Shredded Wheat Original and Bitesize products and a voice over indicated there was "no added salt or sugar". According to the ASA, a consumer who understood that Honey Nut Shredded Wheat contained added sugar, challenged whether the ad breached the Code.

Cereal Partners UK argued that the ad was in fact two ads and "considered that the average consumer would recognise that there were two distinct and separate sections for different products" and "that it would be clear to consumers that the "no added sugar" claim would only apply to the first product, Shredded Wheat Original and Bitesize, rather than to the second".

The ASA however upheld its decision to ban the ad, adding that consumers were "likely" to interpret the ad as a whole rather than two separate sections.

"We considered that viewers would therefore understand the "no added ... sugar" claim to apply to all products with only the addition of natural honey, rather than supplementary sugar, in the Honey Nut variety. Because we understood that this was not the case and that Honey Nut Shredded Wheat did contain additional sugar, we concluded that the ad breached the Code".

A spokesperson for Cereal Partners told just-food today (6 August): "We are disappointed by the ruling of the ASA Council, which overturns the initial recommendation following a thorough investigation. The decision, based on a single consumer complaint, does not reflect the ‘consumer confusion' that is referred to in the adjudication. We will full comply with the ASA ruling and not show the ad again in its current form."