Page last updated at 23:13 GMT, Tuesday, 14 October 2008 00:13 UK

Maltesers calorie claim 'misled'

The advert claimed Maltesers were "not very naughty"

A Maltesers advert misled consumers when it implied the sweets were a low-calorie snack, a watchdog has ruled.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the advert, which claimed each sweet was "less than 11 calories each", suggested they were a low-energy food.

This can only be used to describe products with 40 calories per 100g or less. Maltesers contain 505 per 100g.

Manufacturers Mars said the claim was a factual reference to calories and did not suggest the sweets were low energy.

The ASA also criticised a nutritional claim made for Jaffa Cakes, saying they did not qualify legally as a low-fat product.

The Maltesers advert showed a woman offering the chocolate-covered honeycomb balls to a friend, saying: "Less than 11 calories each."

We concluded that the words 'less than' gave the misleading impression that a Malteser was low in energy
Advertising Standards Authority

The other woman replied: "Yeah? That's not very naughty."

But the ASA has now ruled the claim "less than 11 calories each" should not have been made about Maltesers, especially when the same advert also told viewers they were not being so "naughty".

An ASA spokesman said: "We concluded that the words 'less than' gave the misleading impression that a Malteser was low in energy."

'Fruit and water'

Jaffa Cakes and This Water drinks also came in for criticism from the ASA.

Their adverts broke regulations, the watchdog ruled, when they wrongly suggested the cakes were low fat, and that the drinks only contained fruit and water, even though they had added sugar.

The McVitie's Jaffa Cakes TV advert showed two women talking about how they believed their friend was lying when she said she had fallen down a well.

One told the other: "Don't worry, she's always lying...Last week she said there was only one gram of fat in a McVitie's Jaffa Cake."

A voice-over later stated: "Michelle isn't lying. Each delicious McVitie's Jaffa Cake really does have only one gram of fat."

The ASA ruled the advert's message was that the amount of fat in a Jaffa Cake was much less than expected and therefore constituted a "low-fat" claim.

This Water

Such claims cannot be made for solid foods with more than 3g of fat per 100g. Jaffa Cakes have 8g per 100g.

"We concluded that the claim 'only one gram of fat' misleadingly suggested that Jaffa Cakes were low in fat," an ASA spokesman said.

Posters for This Water drinks were found to have suggested the drinks contained only fruit and water. However, a standard 420ml bottle also contained between 33.6g and 42g of sugar.

This Water said it aimed to highlight the two main ingredients in the drinks, fruit and water, but did not claim they were the only contents.

However, the ASA banned the posters in their current form and the company was told to get guidance on future adverts.

Ad banned for being 'too quick'
10 Sep 08 |  Entertainment
iPhone ad rapped as 'misleading'
26 Aug 08 |  Technology

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific