Uncle Tobys gets adverse decision over ‘superfoods’ claim

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th July 2015

Advertising Standards BureauAustralian-based breakfast-maker and health bar brand Uncle Tobys has landed into trouble over an advertisement which claimed its oats were “ a naturally rich in protein superfood”. Uncle Tobys is owned by Cereal Partners Worldwide a joint venture between Nestle and General Mills but the brand is handled by Nestle Australia.

The Australian Advertising Standards Board ruled on the 10 june 2015 that the claim was dishonest and Cereal Partners have since agreed to alter the television commercial.

The advertisement originally saw a family making oats at breakfast time and includes someone saying  “Do you know Uncle Tobys Oats with milk are naturally rich in protein, which helps build muscles…and they’re a superfood.”

The Advertising Standards Board received a complaint about a written statement at the end of the commercial stating “A 40g serve of UNCLE TOBYS Oats with ⅔ cup of skim milk provides 11.1 of protein”.

From the  Advertising Standards Board case report, one complaint said,“My first impression of the advertisement was to question why I never knew that oats were high in protein and why I had never seen that claim on oats before. The first time I saw the ad, I missed the clarifying statement at the bottom of the screen….As a person who makes up their oats with water, and uses oats in baking, I thought that this was deceptive.”

Cereal Partners Australia  responded to the issue saying the “naturally rich in protein” claims were clearly linked to the oats being consumed with the milk.

The company said that visual reference, the voice-over and onscreen super helped to make the statement clear.

Despite Cereal Partners defence argument the  Advertising Standards Board ruled calling the oats a naturally rich in protein superfood misleading.

Cereal Partners have agreed to change the voice-over to say “oats with milk are naturally rich in protein”.

The company also agreed that it would make the written statement at the end larger and bold the part saying “with ⅔ cup of skim milk” and take away the text on the right of the screen at the end saying “naturally rich in protein superfood”.