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ASA finds Protein World broke advertising laws

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that Protein World, an online seller of health foods, unlawfully used the term 'weight loss' as a website navigation category.  The ASA also said that the company failed to respond to its requests for information on the complaint it made and as a result sought the views of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (UK), the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance, the Health Food Manufacturers' Association and the Proprietary Association of Great Britain. All four of these trade bodies said that category 'signposting' was an important orientation tool for consumers. However CRN argued that removing them could potentially lead to consumer harm, with ESSNA saying it did not believe that statements about weight loss and slimming in a generic category heading made a claim about the function of products within that category.

The ASA was unconvinced and decided that, in its view, a statement about weight loss would be understood as a claim about the function of the products contained within the category, which was in turn "likely to influence a consumer's decision to purchase those products." It took the view that the products listed under the category would have to be supported by authorised claims contained on the EU Register.

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