UK: Coca-Cola Co alters Vitaminwater claims after health rebuke
The report argued that only three of the eight Vitaminwater products "contain any form of fruit"
The Coca-Cola Co has amended a Vitaminwater claim on its website after coming under fire from UK health campaign group The Children's Food Campaign (CFC) for making false claims about its product.
'Dodgiest Junk Food Marketing Claim of the Year', published last week, accuses UK food and beverage companies of "shamelessly misleading" consumers by telling "half truths and "made up so-called facts" in advertising campaigns. Coca-Cola's Glaceau Vitaminwater brand, placed fourth on the list, was accused of claiming on its website that the range offers "spring water with fruit juice".
CFC argued that the claims were misleading because only three of the eight Vitaminwater products "contain any form of fruit", and those that did were from concentrate.
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola said that the company has since reviewed the brands section on its UK website.
"We can confirm that one reference relating to fruit juice and Glaceau Vitamin Water is an incorrect description of the brand's ingredients," the spokesperson said. "We acknowledge our error and have removed this reference from our website with immediate effect."
The British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA), which was placed second on the list, came under fire for information regarding the quantities of sugar added to beverages provided in its educational materials.
The BSDA's media director, Richard Laming, labelled the claims as "completely unfounded".
"The information they have quoted relates only to fruit juice and not, as they suggest, to the whole range of soft drinks," Laming said. "The CFC should get its own facts right first before accusing anyone else."
Britvic took the third spot for claiming on an educational ‘learning zone' website for children, that "dentists believe insufficient saliva, a side effect of not drinking enough, may be a major cause of tooth decay".
The CFC said the firm had made no mention that "soft drinks often also contain sugar and are also often acidic, which are major causes of dental decay and erosion".
Britvic did not return a request for comment on the report.
Chupa Chups producer Perfetti Van Melle took the top spot.
The poll, carried out on 16 December, surveyed 1,000 people in the UK.
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