Shredded Wheat ad banned in UK for misleading sugar claims

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has banned Nestle-owned Cereal Partners UK's ad for Honey Nut Shredded Wheat for its use of a "no added sugar" claim meant for its Shredded Wheat Original counterpart.

LONDON: The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has banned Nestle-owned Cereal Partners UK's ad for Honey Nut Shredded Wheat for its use of a "no added sugar" claim meant for its Shredded Wheat Original counterpart.

The ad featured both Honey Nut Shredded Wheat, which contains added sugar in the form of honey, and Shredded Wheat Original and Bitesize, which have no added sugar.

It showed a man in historical dress exercising and handling wheat with a voiceover playing as a packshot of Original and Bitesize Shredded Wheat was shown. The narration continued into a scene showing the same man tasting honey from a jar, alongside a shot of Honey Nut Shredded Wheat.

The ad, created by McCann London, drew a complaint about the "no added sugar" statement that appeared to describe both types of cereal.

Cereal Partners UK stated that the spot was actually two ads: one for Shredded Wheat Original that was tagged with a second advertisement for Honey Nut Shredded Wheat. It stated that the closing end-frame format was common among many advertisements, and it believed the average consumer would recognize there were two distinct and separate sections for different products.

The Authority acknowledged that the ad featured two sections separated by a pack-shot and logo "peel" and that Cereal Partners UK believed it was therefore clear to consumers that the claim "no added…sugar" applied only to the original product.

However, the Authority noted that the theme of the ad, with the same character and setting, carried through this shot and linked the two sections together. It contended that consumers were consequently likely to interpret it as one ad, rather than two separate sections.

It stated that viewers would therefore understand the "no added sugar" claim to apply to all products with only the addition of natural honey, rather than supplementary sugar, in the Honey Nut variety.

The Authority ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form and told Cereal Partners UK to ensure that future ads for multiple products made clear to which product the relevant nutritional claims applied.

This story originally appeared on the website of Marketing.

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