The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that an advertisement for a range of lactose-free products made “sufficiently clear that the Lactofree products were not suitable for dairy allergy sufferers but were suitable for those intolerant to lactose.” Responding to a complaint alleging that the ad failed to adequately differentiate between lactose intolerance and dairy allergy, Arla Foods Ltd. reportedly noted that its TV commercial included an on-screen footnote stipulating that the products displayed were “Not suitable for milk allergy  sufferers,” and that consumers in doubt should consult their physician.

Warning that the ad’s voice-over—“Listen up hedgehogs, you’re not intolerant
to dairy, you’re just intolerant to lactose, the sugars in dairy”—could be
misunderstood as a stand-alone statement, ASA nevertheless agreed with
Arla’s position, dismissing the complaint on the ground that the on-screen
text not only provided a clear reference to milk allergy, but also instructed
consumers to “Search Lactofree” for more information. “Furthermore,
we considered that consumers suffering from dairy allergies, and those
connected to them, were more inclined to be cautious when selecting products
to purchase and would likely pay attention to the on-screen text in the
ad or the recommendation to seek additional information,” stated ASA. “We
therefore concluded that the ad was neither misleading nor did it encourage
or condone behavior that prejudiced health or safety.”


Issue 514

About The Author


For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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