Rowse Honey has been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for portraying its honey as a source of slow energy.

A TV advert for the product, which featured a “Rowse Honey is a natural source of slow release energy for busy boys and girls” voiceover together with a “Natural fuel for busy bees” strap, received nine complaints challenging the slow energy release claim.

The ASA upheld the complaint on the grounds that the ad was misleading because it failed to clarify that the claim was made in comparison to other foods.

It said it was concerned that the scenes in which the product was featured - as an addition to porridge, in baking a cake and to baste a chicken – didn’t make “sufficiently clear” that Rowse Honey was considered a source of slow release energy when it was used as a replacement for sugar-sweetened foods or drinks that contains sucrose or glucose.

The ASA ruled the ad, which aired in April last year, was not to be broadcast again in its current form.

Rowse Honey defended the ad saying that it believed the term ‘slow release energy’ implied the energy from a food was delivered more slowly than a comparable food or ingredient.

“As a company we will continue to support the fact that honey provides a natural source of slow-release energy due to the supporting nutrition science behind this claim. For instance, honey is used in nature as a source of fuel for bees and therefore qualifies for a ‘natural’ claim under EU regulations,” said Kirstie Jamieson from Rowse Honey.

“We submitted our ad claim and the supporting evidence to Clearcast prior to making the ad and received unqualified approval. As a result, we are very disappointed by the ASA’s recent ruling. We have made minor changes to our TV advert and have had this approved by Clearcast ahead of airing again in 2013.”