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Advertising Board Clamps Down on Added Nutrients

June 2007 - Corporate & Commercial. Legal Developments by Mehmet Gün & Partners .

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The latest trend in the Turkish food industry is to attract consumers by adding nutrients to food products and marketing them as quick and easy solutions to health problems such as cholesterol. However, in general the Advertising Board holds such advertisements to be misleading to consumers and often orders that the advertising cease.

The latest trend in the Turkish food industry is to attract consumers by adding nutrients to food products and marketing them as quick and easy solutions to health problems such as cholesterol or a poor immune system. As a result of the high level of competition within the food sector, in order to convince consumers to buy their product companies sometimes break the boundaries of common sense. Therefore, the Advertising Board is constantly scrutinizing advertisements for such products.

 

The board interprets the legislation pertaining to advertising narrowly. Therefore, in general, advertisements for such nutrients are usually held to be misleading.

In a recent decision the board ruled to stop the use of an advertisement for a children's food product on the grounds that it was misleading for the consumer. The advertisement claimed that children became more intelligent by eating the product, which contains necessary vitamins for children. The board held the following statement to be misleading:

"Children are more willing to solve problems with new [product name], the nutriment of intelligence! [Product name] includes an intelligence formula composed of DHA gathered from fish oil, iron and iodine. Delicious [the product's name] intelligence cubes. Feed your child's intelligence daily with [product name]."

In another decision the board ordered the cessation of an advertisement for margarine on the grounds that it was misleading due to the statement that it "decreases cholesterol by up to 15%". In a similar decision, the board ordered the halting of advertisements for margarine made by another company which included the misleading statement "Think about your heart, reduce your cholesterol".

Despite consistent decisions by the board, it seems that companies will not refrain from using advertisements that suggest their products provide magic solutions. In such a competitive market, the fines imposed by the board do not succeed in preventing such misleading advertising.


For further information on this topic please contact Bilge Saltan at Mehmet Gün & Partners by telephone (+90 212 354 00 00) or by fax (+90 212 274 20 95) or by email (bilge.saltan@gun.av.tr).