The ASA upheld the complaint over PepsiCos Naked Juice brand

The ASA upheld the complaint over PepsiCo's Naked Juice brand

PepsiCo has fallen foul of the UK's advertising authorities over the term "antioxidant" used to market its Naked Juice brand. 

In a ruling today (8 January), the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the wording on the brand's UK website was not specific enough and must not appear again in its "current form". A single complainant argued that the terms "antioxidant" and "antioxidant family Juice Smoothies loaded with nature's elite fighting force to defend your body against free radicals" have not been authorised under the EU's register for nutrition and health claims. 

PepsiCo argued that there was lack of clear guidance on the matter and it believed "antioxidant" was a general, non-specific health claim, which could be used, alongside a "specific" health claim. 

But the ASA ruled PepsiCo had breached its code. "We considered the claim 'antioxidant', in the context of the ad, did not convey the full meaning of the authorised health claim to consumers, and we therefore concluded the ad breached the code in that regard," it said in a ruling. 

The body added: "We told Naked Juice to ensure that they retained the meaning of, and did not exaggerate, any authorised health claims if they reworded them to aid consumer understanding, and to include the name of the nutrient, substance, food, or food category for which a claim had been authorised."

In the US last year, PepsiCo faced a US$9m payout over a lawsuit involving Naked Juice. The lawsuit claimed the product's ingredients were "synthetic" and the company is reportedly dropping the term "natural" from branding as part of the settlement.