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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 October, 2004, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Salt advert complaint rejected
Sid the Slug
Sid the Slug fronted the health campaign
The advertising watchdog has rejected complaints about a public health campaign warning of the dangers of salt.

Members of the public complained that the Food Standards Agency's 'Sid the Slug' campaign was offensive and incorrect.

But the Advertising Standards Authority rejected the complaints.

It said the FSA was raising awareness of the dangers of high salt consumption, not all salt consumption.

We are disappointed in the decision as the campaign is based on scientifically unsound evidence
Peter Sherratt, Salt Manufacturers' Association
One person complained that the use of the name Sid was offensive.

But the ASA concluded that most people would find the use of the Sid the Slug character "humorous".

The FSA's campaign, launched last month, was aimed at encouraging people to cut their salt intake by warning that consuming too much salt was linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

It includes a series of TV, poster and print adverts featuring the animated Sid the Slug character.

The Salt Manufacturers' Association (SMA) had also lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about information on the FSA's website which the advertising watchdog rejected because it was outside its remit.

The association objected to the Sid the Slug character because it "is based on the fact that salt kills slugs and the assertion that it will kill also humans".

It has submitted a further complaint about the advertising campain, claiming the statement that "too much salt is bad for the heart" is misleading.

The SMA says that might not be true for everyone.

'Scientific advice'

Neil Martinson, from the FSA, said: "We are pleased that the ASA has decided that our new advertising campaign is unlikely to upset or mislead the British public.

"Sid the Slug was chosen to front the campaign as an amusing way to alert people to a very serious health message - eating too much salt increases the risk of high blood pressure which can lead to heart disease and stroke.

"The campaign was based on up-to-date independent scientific advice from experts and supported by industry, consumer groups and public health charities."

But a spokesman for the SMA said: "We have said from the very outset that Sid was based on poor science because there is no evidence that salt threatens life."


SEE ALSO:
Britons told to cut salt intake
13 Sep 04  |  Health
Salt
08 Feb 03  |  Medical notes


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