Companies producing healthy brands that are low in fat but have high sugar or salt content should be wary about how they advertise their products, following a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority.
The ASA upheld a complaint against two magazine adverts for the McVitie’s Go ahead! brand, one of the trailblazers of the low-fat category, that said they misleadingly implied the cereal and cakes were healthy snacks.
It ruled that while the bars contained around 2.2g of fat, they had comparable sugar contents to similar snack products and that it had not been shown that the products were any healthier.
The adverts, which claimed that Go ahead! was the “healthier choice”, have been dropped by brand owner United Biscuits.
UB said the ads aimed to communicate the lower-fat content of the bars. It said the ingredients were chosen to provide carbohydrates from natural sources, such as fruit, nuts and wholegrains, to make them a healthier option than snacks that are higher in fat.