These reports are case summaries of complaints which appeared to raise issues of substance in relation to the interpretation of the ITC Advertising Standards Code. Summary statistics of non-substantive complaints can be found in the full reports which are obtainable from the ITC.
Danone Shape Yoghurt - virtually fat free
Complaint from: 1 competitor
An advertisement for Danone's "Shape" yoghurt described it as free from preservatives, artificial colours and sweeteners. A close-up of the product label revealed it was also "virtually fat free".
A competitor said that industry guidelines recommend that yoghurt can only be described as "virtually fat free" if it contains less than 0.3 g of fat per 100g. As Danone's Shape yoghurts contained 0.9g of fat per 100g it believed that the advertisement was misleading.
The advertiser argued that the guidelines referred to were part of a voluntary code for the UK produced by the Dairy Industries Federation. With no statutory definition of "virtually fat free" to rely on, it conducted research asking consumers to define the most relevant term to describe the fat content of its products (0.9g/100g) and "virtually fat free" was thought to be suitable.
The ITC noted the comments in relation to the Dairy Industries Federation guidelines and did not think that it was appropriate to judge the complaint on the basis of a voluntary code. However, it believed that "virtually fat free" was a claim that should be measured against the relevant Food Standards Agency's (FSA) guidelines. The FSA states that "low fat" should only be used on foods containing less than 3g of fat per 100g; and "fat free" should only be used for foods containing less than 0.15g of fat per 100g. Using this as a scale, the ITC judged that Danone's Shape yoghurt which contained 0.9g per 100g could not claim to be "virtually fat free". It therefore judged the advertisement to be misleading and required that it should not be shown again in its current form.
Complaint upheld. Breach of ITC Code Rule 5.1.