03 April 2024

Katie Price Instagram post for diet food firm banned

03 April 2024

A post on Katie Price’s Instagram account for a diet food firm has been banned for not being clear it was an advert, irresponsibly promoting a diet that fell below 800 calories a day and making unauthorised weight loss claims.

The Instagram reel for The Skinny Food Co, posted on August 20, featured glamour model and TV presenter Price making meals for herself throughout the day and talking about her efforts to lose weight.

She says in a voiceover: “So here I am making my delicious coffee, with the caramelised biscuit Skinny Food zero calorie syrup. It’s fat free and sugar free too.

“And on top of that I absolutely love my Skinny Food porridge and guess what, it only has 262 calories. 14 grams of protein, and trust me so yummy.”

She then made lunch for herself, saying: “So I am going to have a quick lunch today with the Skinny Food high protein wraps. You won’t believe how good they are. They are also low in sugar, high in fibre, perfect lunch. But what’s best is that garlic mayo sauce on top. They come in so many different flavours. And guess what! Yup, zero calories too.”

At dinner, she said: “Here I am, God look at that double chin, here’s why I’m on the Skinny Foods, Jesus, look at that double chin. Now, everyone knows I love a curry, so tonight, I am making a chicken tikka takeaway meal. The curry is low in sugar, high protein and only 189 calories.”

The video ended with Katie Price having a post-dinner snack, saying: “Tonight I am having the Skinny Food chocoholic malt balls. They’re only 89 calories per packet, low in sugar, and these really do hit the spot.”

The final shot said: “Total calories for the day = 755.”

A caption stated: “Another example of how you can eat so many delicious meals and snacks in the day. All of this was only 755 calories and helping me stay in a calorie deficit to shift some extra pounds when needed.

The ad must not appear again in the form complained about

“If I have a bad day I like to go in a calorie deficit to ensure it’s not a bad week!”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received two complaints that the post was not obviously recognisable as an ad and irresponsible for promoting a diet low in calories.

The ASA also challenged whether the weight loss claims for the products shown in the ad were authorised on the Great Britain nutrition and health claims register.

Not Guilty Food Co Ltd, trading as The Skinny Food Co, said that the reel included ‘#ad’, which they considered sufficient.

The firm also said it could not control what Price ate, but that being in a “calorie deficit” was a proven way to achieve weight loss.

Price agreed to remove the ad and confirmed that she followed a calorie deficit approach, which she believed many people in the UK did, and asked for further information on how to make similar posts compliant in future.

The ASA acknowledged that the reel featured ‘#ad’ in the caption, but said it was not visible without engaging with the post and expanding the text.

It therefore concluded that the label was insufficiently prominent to obviously identify the post as an ad from the outset.

The watchdog also found that the ad irresponsibly promoted a diet that fell well below 800 calories a day, noting that it included no explicit instruction that it must only be followed on a short-term basis or any reference to the need to take medical advice before embarking on it.

The ASA said: “We therefore considered that consumers would understand from the ad that they could elect to follow a similar diet that fell below 800 kcal a day by consuming the same products, and other products from The Skinny Food Co’s range, without taking medical advice, until they achieved their desired weight.”

Finally, the ASA found that the name ‘Skinny Food’ was a health claim within advertising regulations, but there was no evidence that products in the range contained a substance that would produce weight loss.

It said: “Because the ad made specific health claims that were not authorised on the Great Britain nutrition and health claims register, we concluded that it breached the Code.”

The ASA concluded: “The ad must not appear again in the form complained about.

“We told Not Guilty Food Co Ltd, trading as The Skinny Food Co, and Katie Price, to ensure that their future ads were obviously identifiable as marketing communications, and the commercial intent was made clear, and that identifiers such as ‘#ad”’ were clearly and prominently displayed.

“We also told them to ensure that their ads did not irresponsibly promote diets that fell below 800 kcal a day, and to only make weight loss or weight maintenance claims for foods if the claim was authorised on the Great Britain nutrition and health claims register and the foods met the associated conditions of use.”

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