Coca Cola embroiled in ‘dangerously misleading’ water ad controversy

Saturday, February 5, 2011

LONDON - Coca Cola’s Vitaminwater advertisements have come under fire from a U.S. consumer group.

The beverage giant has been accused of ‘dangerously misleading’ in ads and labels on the bottled mineral water it claims to be healthy.

The National Consumers League (NCL) has filed a complaint in the US stating that the Vitaminwater’s adverts are a ‘public health menace’ and ‘outlandish’.

The adverts claim that the bottled water can replace flu jabs and prevent illness.

Glaceau, a Coca-Cola company, claims the water is ‘nutritious’ because it contains 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and other vitamins.

But the Advertising Standards Authority banned the advert, declaring that the public ‘would not expect’ a ‘nutritious’ drink to have the equivalent of up to five teaspoons of added sugar.

It also lists a poster which declares ‘flu shots are so last year’ and a slogan ‘more vitamin c, more immunity’.

“These advertising claims are not only untrue, they constitute a public health menace. Stopping these Vitaminwater claims, which contradict information by the Centers for Disease Control and other public health authorities, should be a top FTC priority,” the Daily Mail quoted Sally Greenberg, NCL’s executive director, as saying.

The NCL complaint also calls on the FTC to stop deceptive labelling which describe the drink as ‘a nutrient enhanced water beverage’ and ‘vitamins + water = all you need’.

Last year, Coca-Cola was also sued by a health lobby group for what it alleged were ‘deceptive’ claims over the Vitaminwater brand that was launched in the UK in 2008. (ANI)

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