Weetabix has said it is “disappointed” with a decision by the UK’s advertising watchdog to ban one of its television advertisements.
The cereal has had its second UK television advert banned in the last month by the country’s advertising watchdog.
The advert for its namesake Weetabix cereal, which was broadcast in July 2011, showed a family having breakfast and comparing their busy days. The ad showed a bowl of Weetabix with milk and the packet, which read ‘Weetabix Slow Release Energy’ and the tag-line ‘Fuel for Big Days’.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it received four complaints over the cereal maker’s claim of ‘slow release energy’. The claim, they said, was misleading because they understood that Weetabix contained a high glycemic index (GI) rating.
It added that the advert did not expressly state that the claim highlighted that the cereal be eaten with milk, and that due to the absence of “additional qualifying information”, some viewers might assume the claim referred to Weetabix itself.
As a result, the ASA concluded that the claim must not be broadcast again in it’s current form and the claim ‘packed with slow release energy to keep you going’ must highlight the related consumption of Weetabix with milk.
In a statement, Weetabix said it believes “strongly” that the ad’s claims were not misleading.
“We believe that the ASA has failed to incorporate the principle of a “notional, typical consumer, who is reasonably well-informed and reasonably observant…” as described in the regulations.
“Given that the overwhelming majority of consumers only ever eat Weetabix with milk, that we always demonstrate usage with milk and that our usage instructions on pack couldn’t be clearer, we believe strongly that this commercial does not materially mislead anyone.”
The spokesperson said the advert has been on air for over 12 months but that “for the avoidance of any possible doubt”, it will make it clear in future ads that the slow release energy claim relates to Weetabix when eaten with milk.