ASA challenges online marketing content of nutrition brands

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has challenged the impropriety of content featured on the websites www.wholesome-choices.com​​ and www.trustworthy-reviews.com​​ in May and April this year, that appeared to disproportionately favour owner brands while giving the impression reviews were based on independent opinion and product testing.

The ASA also challenged whether paid-for Google search ads falsely implied the marketers were “acting for purposes outside their business and did not make their commercial intent clear​”.

Ad content

The issues identified concern two Google ads for Wellness Explorer review site (www.wholesome-choices.com​​) and the search terms ‘best collagen supplement’ and ‘vitamin b complex’, where featured content listed Purolabs products in the number one spot – even though corresponding text indicated reviews were independent and “grounded in research and product testing”​.  The website also offers information and advice on how to choose between products on the market.

Search pages listed the advantages of Purolabs products and provided a link to the brand’s homepage. Content included a disclosure on the commercial link between website and brand.

Meanwhile, the issue with ads linked to HeyNutrition-owned website Trustworthy Reviews, considered three search terms (‘best turmeric’, ‘best ashwagandha’, and ‘best vitamin d’) and various references to a resident healthcare expert and to scientific studies that suggest independent, expert input and clinical support for content claims.

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