UK: Mars sees ad ban against misleading chocolate ads
Date: 16 Oct 2008
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that Mars misled consumers when they ran adverts implying that its Maltesers product was a low-calorie snack.
The advert said that Maltesers were 'less than 11 calories each', suggesting that this made them a low energy food, a claim which may only be made for food which has 40 calories or less per 100g. Maltesers contains over 12 times that amount.
The company disputed the ruling, arguing that the calorie comment was purely a factual reference, and not intended to suggest that the sweets were low calorie. The ad shows a woman offering a Malteser to a friend saying "less than 11 calories each", which the ASA saw as a clear implication that this was intentionally misleading.
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