Advertisements for chef Gordon Ramsay’s gin were banned for promoting the nutritional value of the spirit’s honeyberry ingredient.
Instagram and Facebook posts for Ramsay’s Gin, seen in March, said the honeyberries that made up its “botanical foundations” were grown in fields a few miles from the Eden Mill distillery near St .Andrews in Scotland were removed.
The ads read: “Here the farmer follows a natural growth philosophy, which means the honeyberries retain the rich flavors and micronutrients native to Scotland’s wonderful terroir.
“With more antioxidants than blueberries, more potassium than bananas, more vitamin C than oranges, and a taste like a mix of blueberries, plums and grapes, these might be the tastiest honeyberries on earth.”
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) questioned whether the claims about honeyberries for alcoholic beverages were legitimate. Eden Mill Distillery, which does business as Ramsay’s Gin, said the ads were posted only once, have been deleted and will not be reused in any form or through any channel.
The company said it had not previously distilled with honeyberries and, excited at the opportunity to work with Ramsay, failed to conduct its usual due diligence. It said the company owners, the marketing team and the chief distiller had all been informed of the complaint and had given assurances that it would not happen again.
The ASA pointed out that the only acceptable nutritional claims that could be made in relation to alcohol are “low alcohol content”, “reduced alcohol” and “reduced energy”.
The ASA said: “Although we welcomed the action taken by Ramsay’s Gin to retract the ads because the claims ‘contain … micronutrients’ and ‘more antioxidants than blueberries, more potassium than bananas, more vitamin C than oranges’ were nutritional Claims that were not allowed for alcoholic beverages, we concluded that the ads violated the code.”
The regulator ruled that the ads could not reappear in the offending form, adding: “We have told the Eden Mill Distillery, trading as Ramsay’s Gin, not to make improper nutritional claims about alcoholic beverages.”
A spokesman for Eden Mill said: “We have apologized to the ASA and accept full responsibility.
Honeyberries are the fruit of the honeysuckle Lonicera caerulea, also known as blue honeysuckle or edible honeysuckle. The RHS describes the fruit as very similar in taste and appearance to blueberries and advises eating it raw or using it in jams and jellies. Like blueberries, they are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.