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Instagram posts by three reality stars banned for promoting weight loss brands

ASA rule that the endorsements were irresponsible and breached rules around health claims

Joanna Whitehead
Wednesday 23 October 2019 00:01 BST
Katie Price on ITV's Loose Women
Katie Price on ITV's Loose Women (ITV/Shutterstock)

Advertisements for weight loss brands that featured on the Instagram accounts of celebrities including Katie Price, Lauren Goodger and Georgia Harrison have been banned for being irresponsible.

Posts promoting weight loss products, including Boombod and V24 Gummies, were ruled to breach rules around health claims and deemed to endorse them in an irresponsible way, according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The reality TV star and model, Goodger, shared a post on her Instagram account which showed her wearing athletic clothing and holding Boombod packaging, accompanied by the comment: “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. This difference I've noticed from using this stuff is amazing.”

In April, Katie Price posted a before and after image of herself with the comment: “Getting loads of questions about the boombod program and how I like it, and it's no secret. I can't get enough of it! Quick & Easy weight loss is great, but doing it in a healthy way is key. These shots have a bunch of vitamins, use a clinically proved natural fibre, contain zero laxatives and most importantly... they give results every time!“

Four people complained that the posts made health claims which were not EU-authorised, referred to an amount of weight loss which was banned under advertising law and that they promoted a weight loss product in an irresponsible way.

In response, Boombod stated it would remove the posts and liaise with both Price and Goodger to resolve the matter, although adverts promoting the product are still visible on Price's Instagram profile.

Price stated that the comment in her post “communicated her thoughts on the product”, while Goodger told the ASA that she did not claim to have lost weight because of the product, but that it had assisted her with bloating and hunger.

The ASA stated: ”We were concerned that the photo of Lauren Goodger appeared to have been edited to make her waist look artificially thin with the result that the images were not representative of her real body shape.

“We considered that was particularly irresponsible in the context of an ad for an appetite suppressant that presented her as an aspirational figure,” it said.

In a separate ruling, the ASA banned posts on the Instagram pages of firm Teamv24 and television personality Georgia Harrison promoting weight loss 'gummies'.

The ASA said: “We considered that the health claims in the ad did not communicate the same information as the authorised health claim.

"We considered that consumers would take from the ads that Georgia Harrison had taken the products over a long period of time in order to maintain her slim figure."

The ASA added that this created the impression that taking the products would imply that it was "necessary or advisable" to purchase the product for those who aspired to her body shape and lifestyle.

They also expressed concern that the photos of Harrison appeared to have been edited to make her waist look artificially thin, concluding that that this was "particularly irresponsible" in the context of an advert promoting an appetite suppressant.

NHS medical director Professor Steve Powis said: “The NHS sees first-hand the impact damaging social media ads have on young and vulnerable people - peddling diet pills with promises too good to be true, idealised body image and misleading health 'advice' - so action from social media giants to act on NHS calls to prevent completely avoidable harm are a necessary first step to keeping children safe online."

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