The U.K. Advertising Standards Agency (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 prod- ucts 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.”