Watchdog bans two Bangladeshi TV ads

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The advertising watchdog, Advertising Standards Authority, has banned two commercials airing on Bangladeshi channel Nepali TV, with immediate effect.

The campaigns by Nestl̩ and GlaxoSmithKline for Horlicks and Maggi Noodles have been called into question after making misleading health claims.

What makes the case further damaging is that both commercials were meant to air in Bangladesh only. They were shown in the UK without the knowledge of the brand owners as part of a rebroadcast deal.

The TV ad for GSK-owned Horlicks, which is promoted as a health drink in some foreign markets, featured a number of claims including that it makes children “taller, stronger, sharper”.

Nestl̩’s TV commercial for Maggi Noodles included claims that it makes children’s muscles and bones strong.

GSK said that its claims were accurate for “children in that part of the world” and that Horlicks complied with the regulatory requirements of Bangladesh.

Nestl̩ added that its ad had been approved for broadcast and complied with the “necessary legal requirements” in Bangladesh.

The ASA ruled that in both cases the health claims in the ads were not substantiated. Both ads were banned from being broadcast again in the UK.

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