Oppo Ice Cream has been slapped on the wrists by advertising regulators for claiming its products contain “superfoods”.
The Advertising Standards Authority today upheld a complaint made by rival ice cream supplier Perfect World Ice Cream, which challenged references to “superfoods” and “super-fruit” on Oppo’s website.
The ASA agreed the advertising breached EU nutrition and health claim rules because “references to general benefits of a nutrient or food for overall good health or health-related well-being were only acceptable if accompanied by a specific authorised health claim”, and there were “no authorised health claims” related to spirulina, lucuma or baobab – three ingredients used by Oppo.
Acknowledging Oppo’s willingness to amend its advertising and remove references to “superfoods” and “super-fruit”, the agency ruled the ad must not appear again in its current form.
“We told Oppo Ice Cream not to make references to general benefits of a nutrient or food for overall good health or health-related well-being unless those claims were accompanied by a relevant, authorised health claim,” it added.
Oppo directors Harry and Charlie Thuillier said the complaint had come as a “surprise”, but they were confident the company could make authorised health claims for its products based on its sugar replacement ingredients.
“We commissioned experts from two food legislation authorities who confirmed that all our flavours (which contain 50%-60% less sugar and calories than regular ice cream) have a composition that can make the EU authorised health claim,” they said.
“Therefore, we were advised that we can go one step further and use ‘healthy’ not just on our website (as queried) but also on our packaging. So, we’d like to extend a thank you to the complainant! We’ll send them a tub of our healthy indulgent ice cream to celebrate.”