Two Nestlé ads comparing its cereals to two other breakfast options have been banned for making unfair nutritional comparisons.
The Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints about a TV ad comparing the calories, sugar, saturated fat and salt in Nesquik cereal with the amount in jam on toast, and a regional press ad comparing the nutritional content of a bowl of Cheerios and a croissant.
The advertising watchdog ruled they were in breach of the advertising code because they failed to compare like with like.
It said that the ads made “comparative nutrition claims” about foods that were not in the same category.
The ASA dismissed one complaint about an ad comparing Cookie Crisp Cereal with milk and crumpets with jam. It said the ad did not suggest that the Nestlé cereal had particular beneficial nutritional properties compared to the crumpets with jam.
In response to the ASA’s decision, Cereal Partners (a partnership of Nestlé UK and General Mills), said: “The campaign was designed to help consumers make informed decisions, based on factual information.
“This has been a long and complex investigation by the ASA due to the nature of the new regulations in this area of nutrition communication. We have worked and co-operated with the ASA over the past 10 months in relation to the three complaints received in 2012. We are disappointed with the outcomes of the ASA’s investigation, but we will respect the decision of the ruling. The advertising campaign has already ceased and the ads in question will not be shown again.”