ASA rules to ban Gordon Ramsay gin ad due to nutritional content claims

September 22, 2022 — A recent ad on celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s Instagram page made claims about the micronutrient content of gin made by Eden Mills that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found misleading. Ramsay and Eden Mills announced a partnership to produce Gordon Ramsay’s Gin in July last year.

The ad, published on March 20, was reported to the ASA for claiming that the honeyberries used in the distillation process retained their micronutrients. The association then questioned the accuracy of the advertising, noting that this type of nutritional information “was not allowed for alcoholic beverages”.

NutritionInsight has reached out to Scotland-based distiller Eden Mills, but the company has not responded in a timely manner to requests for comment on the release.

consumer protection
The association investigates potential CAP violations, for example a Tesco plant burger ad from 2021 and a BrewDog ad published in the same year, and decides whether the ad complies with the code. Like the Eden Mills post, both have been found to be in breach of the CAP.

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The CAP Code states that only nutritional claims approved by the Great Britain Nutrition and Health Claims Register (GB NHC Register) may be used in advertising and marketing communications.

The ASA uses the CAP to determine whether ads are providing consumers with misleading information. Accordingly, only the information “low-energy”, “low-alcohol” or “low-alcohol” may be given for alcoholic beverages. The ASA considers the Instagram marketing message to violate this principle.

Violation of the Code
The ad not only stated that the honeyberries retained their micronutrients, but also that they contained “more antioxidants than blueberries, more potassium than bananas, more vitamin C than oranges.”

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Because the ad states that the honeyberries contain the micronutrients, the ASA says this “would be understood by consumers to mean that the product has the particular beneficial nutritional property of containing a range of micronutrients due to the honeyberries it contains.”

This led the organization to view the advertisement as a nutritional claim, which led to them reaching out to the company.

due diligence?
Per the ASA ruling, Eden Mills stated that they had not previously used honeyberries in the distillation process. The company also stated that in its excitement at working with Ramsay, due diligence to investigate the statement had not been conducted.

The company went on to say it was a “major change,” which also resulted in the ad’s hurtful statement slipping through the cracks.

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In addition, the ASA decision states that the owners of Eden Mills reported that “the marketing team and head distiller were all informed of the complaint and given assurances that nothing like this would happen again”.

Eden Mills and Ramsay withdrew the complaint. The ASA’s ruling states that the advertisement must not appear again in the same form.

Edited by William Bradford Nichols

This feature is provided by FoodIngredientsFirst‘s sister site, NutritionInsight.

To contact our editorial team, please email us at [email protected]

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