This week, Nestlé's TV ad for Kit Kat with Father Christmas was ruled in breach of the Committee of Advertising Practice advertising code but overall, the food and drink industry had increased compliance with the stricter advertising rules imposed to tackle childhood obesity, the Advertising Standards Authority has revealed.
Kit Kat's "107 calories just the ticket" claim was deemed to give the misleading impression that the bar was low in energy. However, the industry as a whole achieved a compliance rate of 99.4% in the ASA's Food and Soft Drink Survey 2009 the highest rating achieved since records began in 2007.
Of the 1,110 adverts assessed across all media types, only seven were considered in breach of advertising codes. No advert fell foul of the new children's food advertising rules, and there were no breaches in online media.
In 2008, the industry achieved 98.6% compliance, with 10 breaches identified among 927 adverts. Eight were in non-alcoholic drinks.
Although only two of the seven breaches in 2009 related to soft drinks ads, the category only showed "slight improvement" in its compliance rating as fewer adverts were assessed.
Two breaches were also recorded in both dairy and bakery, with another in a food mail order ad.
Two of the breaches were subject to formal investigation after receiving complaints. Danone's TV ad claiming Actimel was "scientifically proven to help support your kids' defences" was considered misleading, as were the health claims in Coca-Cola GB's Vitaminwater advertising.
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