Leaf cleared by ad watchdog in Chewits game health link

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Taste Adventure: the game at issue. Source: Chewits.co.uk
Taste Adventure: the game at issue. Source: Chewits.co.uk

Related tags: Nutrition

Leaf Italia has been cleared by the UK’s Adverting Standards Agency (ASA) after a complaint alleged that a game on its Chewits sweets website gave misleading impressions of the health benefits of the product.

The Alliance For Better Food had lodged a complaint that the game, where users located nine Chewits flavours with animated dinosaur “Chewie”, included fruit and sports equipment along the bottom of the screen, giving the false impression of health benefits for children.

The ASA found that Leaf had broken no advertising rules.

The ruling

“The ASA considered that it was not clear from the game that the fruit symbols along the bottom of the screen were intended to promote the consumption of fruit as part of a healthy lifestyle,”​ it said,

“We noted that, although images representing sports equipment were also shown, so too were images of ice cream and cola, which were also flavours of Chewits.”

The ad watchdog said both adults and children were able to assume that the fruits at the bottom of the page represented Chewit flavours.

“We considered that it was common for foods that were fruit flavoured to use an image of fruit in their marketing.”

Although the ASA said it was unclear of the game’s purpose, the game did not give misleading impressions about the health benefits of Chewits.

Leaf’s defence

Leaf said in its defence that other sections on its site, such as its “Parents”​ page contained information about how sweets should be consumed responsibly.

It argued that the Guideline Daily Amounts for Chewits could be found on the website and on the product’s packaging, and therefore contended it had not given misleading impressions.

The company also provided a letter from its managing director about Leaf’s work on a national children’s sports programme designed to promote an active lifestyle and balanced diet.

Leaf was found not to have breached CAP Code rule 15.17, related to nutritional and health claims.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety

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