Protein World and Amazon collared over weight loss claims

Advertising watchdog rules that the companies failed to provide evidence to support the claims of products sold on their websites.

Protein World and Amazon have been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for making misleading health claims about the food supplements they sell.

Protein World was unable to provide sufficient evidence for three of the 44 products listed in the "weight loss" category on its website.

The ASA had asked the company for information that its Slender Tea, CLA Capsules and Carb Blocker – a product that the organisation ordered Protein World to change the name of earlier this year – meet European Union requirements to be labelled as a weight loss product.

The ruling found that the web page headed "Weight loss" and "Weight loss products", seen in January 2018, breached the CAP codes. The ASA asked Protein World to ensure it does not place food supplements under the headings unless it has evidence that they meet EU requirements.

Amazon UK has also been found in breach of the same codes after a section on its site called "Slimming aids & weight loss" seen in December 2017 that featured several food supplements.

The company told the ASA that its category headlines are supposed to be "signposts" to help customers navigate the site and that these do not represent product information.

It also said that the headings were much like point-of-sale material that is not subject to the CAP codes.

However, the ASA noted in its ruling: "We considered that consumers would understand food supplements placed in the ‘weight loss’ category to have the inherent function of helping them to lose weight, as opposed to products that would enable the user to undertake other activities that would help them lose weight (for example, fitness clothing and equipment)."

Amazon also failed to provide information to show that the products listed under the "Slimming aids & weight loss" category met the requirements on the EU Register.

This article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign

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