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| 1 minute read

Keeping addicted to sugar? Taste 80% by your nose? Twice: no.

Following a complaint from Cosun Beet Company, Air up must stop a YouTube video for its product air-up in which Air up speaks very negatively about sugary soft drinks. 

The Board of Appeal upholds the ruling of the Advertising Code Committee. Air up explicitly opposes soft drinks with sugar sold in the supermarket, on the grounds that only sugar ("junk") gives taste, that the sugar industry would provide incorrect information ("lie") to the detriment of the consumer ("to keep you addicted to sugar"). The expressions are traceable to actual competitors of Air up and thus qualify as comparative advertising. Air up must therefore substantiate the expressions, but is unable to do so. The Board of Appeal considers the statements inadmissible: both misleading (article 13 sub a Dutch Advertising Code) and denigrating (article 13 sub 3 Dutch Advertising Code ).

On its website, Air up touts its own water-with-smell product by claiming "You taste by smell. We taste 80% by the nose." The Board of Appeal rules that Air up must therefore scientifically substantiate such a bold claim. Air up is not able to do this, while Cosun pointed to scientific publications that refute the claim. Hence this claim by Air up is also misleading.

Air up must remove the video and amend its 80% campaign claim.

Ebba Hoogenraad represented Cosun Beet Company in this matter.

27 June 2023


food law, advertising law