GSK sold the brand to Suntory late last year

GSK sold the brand to Suntory late last year

Claims made about the health benefits of Ribena were “exaggerated” on the brand’s website and must not appear again, the UK’s advertising authorities have ruled.

A single complainant argued that assertions made about the benefits of vitamin A and C on Ribena’s website were unauthorised, under European Union guidelines on nutrition and health claims. The site said vitamin A “keeps your vision in tip-top condition” and is “important for immunity”. It also said vitamin C  “helps immunity” and is an “antioxidant”.

Previous owner GlaxoSmithKline, which was the original advertiser but sold the brand to Suntory late last year, said it reworded the claims to “keep the language understandable and more consumer friendly”. The company said it “believed that the meaning remained faithful to the authorised health claim”.

The ASA acknowledged that there was “some flexibility” in re-wording claims. However, on the vitamin A claim on eyesight, it said that the words "exaggerated the meaning of the authorised claim". The group upheld complaints on all four points.

The ruling said: “The claims must not appear again in their current form. We told GlaxoSmithKline to ensure they retained the meaning of, and did not exaggerate, any authorised health claims if they reworded them to aid consumer understanding.” 

To read the full ruling, click here.