‘These shots…give results every time,’ an advert for an appetite suppressant on Price’s Instagram account enthused
Celebrity endorsements for weight-loss products that promised to “help keep hunger at bay” and to “banish naughty cravings” have been banned and branded “irresponsible” by a watchdog.
Model Katie Price and reality star Lauren Goodger, from The Only Way is Essex, both advertised appetite-suppressant drinks on their Instagram accounts earlier this year, while Georgia Harrison, who appeared on the 2017 series of Love Island, praised another company, telling her followers that they “have to try [its] weight-loss gummies”.
A post on Price’s Instagram account in April included a before and after image of the model, the second of which featured packaging for a shot drink from the company Boombod. The accompanying text read: “Getting loads of questions about the @boombod program and how I like it, and it’s no secret…These shots have a bunch of vitamins, use a clinically proved natural fibre, contain zero laxatives and most importantly…they give results every time! [sic]”
The post on Goodger’s account said: “Can’t believe these amazing results I’ve gotten with @boombod’s 7 Day Achiever. It works so well to decrease bloating and get rid of those late night cravings.”
An advert on Harrison’s Instagram account heaped praise on a different appetite suppressant, V24 weight loss gummies, produced by the company Protein Revolution Limited.
“Gummies are great at helping you loose weight [sic],” the advert stated. “V24 Gummies made dieting so much easier. They’re delicious and when taken with water they suppress your hunger cravings.”
‘Irresponsible’ weight loss ads
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that all three posts “promoted a diet product in an irresponsible way” and that the health claims made breached the UK advertising Code.
The UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing prohibits health claims for foods that refer to a rate or amount of weight loss.
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All three women were deemed to have “desirable and aspirational” lifestyles and body images, and did not need to lose weight, but their adverts created the impression that it was necessary or advisable for them to do so quickly.
The ASA banned BoomBod and Protein Revolution from producing the adverts again in the same form and ordered both companies not to promote diet products in an irresponsible way.
Goodger said that the text in her post did not state that she had lost weight because of the product, but that it helped with bloating and hunger. Price responded that the caption in her advert communicated her thoughts on the product. Harrison acknowledged the complaint but declined to comment.
Protein Revolution, said the claim “Glucomannan in the context of an energy restricted diet contributes to weight loss” was an authorised claim on the EU Register.
BoomBod said it would remove the ads and liaise with Goodger and Price to rectify the issue.