ASA Bans Flora Ad for Unsubstantiated Health Claims

Unilever have been dealt a blow by having their new ads for their margarine brand Flora banned by the UK Advertising Standards Authority.

Their claim that "no other food lowers cholesterol more" drew consumer complaints over whether it could be substantiated, with the ASA ruling against Unilever.

This news is particularly damaging since Unilever is trying to turn the tides on slumping margarine sales, including both the Flora and Bertoli brands. They blame this downward trend on a lack of marketing to health-conscious shoppers, which they are attempting to change by investing in multi-million pound campaigns.

In response to the ASA's ruling however, Unilever has changed the wording of the two banned ads to allow them to continue highlighting that the plant sterols found in Flora pro-active indeed reduce cholesterol levels.

A Unilever spokesperson commented: "While we're disappointed that the adjudication has been upheld, we respect the ASA decision and have made amendments to the wording which allows us to continue using the claim that our product is clinically proven to actively lower cholesterol."

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