Geordie Shore star ordered by ASA to remove Instagram post on detox tea brand over health claims

TV personality and influencer Sophie Kasaei has taken down an Instagram post for a detox tea brand after the ASA said claims about the product's health benefits, and by extension its brand name, were not permitted.

Geordie Shore star ordered by ASA to remove Instagram post on detox tea brand over health claims

Kasaei, who has 1.5 million Instagram followers, published a post (above) in March for Flat Tummy Tea, with text stating: "#ad Tummy Game Plan? You know it’s @flattummytea. Nothings [sic] gonna get you flat the same as this tea will. The excuses are in the past, much like the water weight I used to have."

The Advertising Standards Authority received a complaint which challenged the implication that the tea could help with water weight.

The ASA upheld the complaint, concluding that the posts violated CAP Code rules that marketing containing nutrition or health claims "must be supported by documentary evidence to show they meet the conditions of use associated with the relevant claim, as specified in the EU Register [of nutrition and health claims made on foods]".

The regulator also found that the lack of any such claim meant that using the name 'Flat Tummy Tea' in marketing was a violation of EU regulations.

Nomad Choice, the Australian company which sells Flat Tumy Tea, said it was not aware of the register or the relevant regulation, and stated that it "did not hold scientific data to support their claims that the tea ingredients could help with water weight loss".

Removal order

The ASA ordered the company to remove the claims and to ensure that future marketing "did not make health claims which were not listed as authorised on the EU Register". The post has been removed from Kasaei's feed.

It also said: "We also told them not to make references to health-related wellbeing in brand names unless those claims were accompanied by a permitted health or nutrition claim."

An ASA spokeswoman said: "We’re not saying Flat Tummy Tea have to change their name - we are saying that, in an ad, a brand name cannot include a reference to health-related wellbeing without an accompanying permitted heath or nutrition claim - which Nomad Choice did not provide us with. So in effect, it will be difficult for them to use their current product/brand name in an ad."

This is the second time in recent months that Flat Tummy Tea, which claims to reduce bloating and support metabolism, has fallen foul of ASA regulations. In April, the ASA ordered Instagram influencer Sheikhbeauty to take down a post about the tea, which did not disclose that it was paid-for content.

Read next: Rooting out the click forgers - is the net closing on fake influencers

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