Pomegranate juice advert banned

Ad over-hyped the drink’s health benefits

An advertisement for pomegranate juice over-hyped its health benefits and must not be shown again, the UK regulator has ruled.

The poster, for POM Wonderful, featured a noose round a bottle of juice, and suggested drinking it would help consumers ‘cheat death’.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) concluded that the advert had been ‘misleading’. The makers argued the claim was a deliberate exaggeration for effect.

Pomegranates are high in antioxidant molecules, which are thought to reduce damage to the body’s tissues. There is also research to suggest that the fruit can help slow the development of some tumours, such as prostate cancer, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

But the ASA received 23 complaints that the slogan was misleading and exaggerated the health benefits likely to be achieved by drinking the product.

POM Wonderful argued that the statement was not intended to be taken literally, as that would imply drinking the juice would bestow immortality. It said the slogan was an obvious untruth and exaggeration that was never meant to be taken seriously.

However, in a statement the ASA said: ‘We were concerned that it could also be interpreted, especially when read in conjunction with the claim ‘The antioxidant power of pomegranate juice’, as meaning that pomegranate juice contributed in some way to a longer life.’

The ASA ruled that the company had failed to provide hard evidence that this was true. It accepted the intention had not been to mislead, but said the poster breached regulations on truthfulness, and must not appear again in its current form.

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