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New ASA Ruling on comparative nutrition claims


May 31, 2024

ASA Ruling on Tonic Nutrition Ltd t/a Tonic Health: a website and an Instagram reel for Tonic Health made a comparative nutrition claims discrediting other competitor product.

The website of “Daily Immunity” supplement included a claim “No Added Sugar, No Junk, Vegan” and a table showing the total amount of vitamins (in grams per daily serving) in other nutritional supplements, including “Daily Immunity” and Bayer plc’s “Berocca” product. The table was accompanied by a heading “Dump the Junk” and text “Dump the sugars, chemicals and fillers. It’s a simple solution to make you feel you”. The Instagram reel included a video in which a man held and talked about the Berocca Immuno product. During the video, he referred to Berocca as “bad boys” and said that “they don’t like the fact that we’re telling you what’s in their product and what the facts are for what’s healthy” and “they don’t want to look after your health like we do”.  Bayer plc challenged whether these nutrition claims and comparative nutrition claims violate the Code and disparage or denigrate another product.

According to ASA the phrase “dump the junk” and references to “sugars, chemicals and fillers” next to the comparison table, implied the "Daily Immunity" was of a higher quality due to its higher vitamin content and lack of  “sugars, chemicals and fillers” of the competitor products and that consumers should avoid those competitor products. Furthermore, the term “junk” suggests that consumers should avoid purchasing Berocca or the other competitor products as they were of little to no value as supplements. The claims on the Instagram implied that Bayer plc was not motivated by consumers health improvement and that they launched an ASA complaint against Tonic Health in an attempt to restrain Tonic Health from informing consumers about the products’ relative nutritional/health value. According to ASA those claims went beyond a factual and informative comparison about the relative nutritional value of the products and they discredited and denigrated Berocca and breached the Code.

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