GlaxoSmithKline and Nestle have felt the heavy hand of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after accidently showing two advertisements in the UK that were supposed to target children in Bangladesh.
Two TV ads, for Horlicks and Maggi Noodles, have been banned by the watchdog for making misleading health claims that are not relevant to the UK audience and do not abide by the nutritional regulations of Ofcom.
Nepali TV in the UK broadcast the Horlicks and Maggi Noodles ads, which were only meant to air in Bangladesh, 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", while Nestlé's ad for Maggi Noodles claimed that the product 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.
Nestlé added that its campaign also complied with regulations in Bangladesh and had been approved for broadcast in that region.
The ASA reminded Nepali TV of its Ofcom licence obligations and of the requirement to have adequate compliance procedures and was concerned that Nepali TV ran the ads without explicit permission.
The advertising watchdog ruled ad must not be broadcast again in the UK in its present form and the product should not be advertised without adequate substantiation for the claims made for it.
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