Feeds

GSK runs out of juice over Ribena claims

I don't see any vitamin C in here...

Build a business case: developing custom apps

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), manufacturer of iconic English thirst-quencher Ribena, has been squeezed before an Auckland (NZ) court for misleading consumers about the levels of vitamin C in the local version of its blackcurrant drink.

The company admitted to the Auckland District Court that it misled customers about the vitamin C content contained in Ribena.

GSK also said it may have led consumers up the garden path in advertisements saying that blackcurrants in Ribena had four times the vitamin C of oranges.

Judge Phil Gittos fined GSK $217,500 for 15 breaches of the Fair Trading Act. The company also has to place corrective advertisements in New Zealand's four largest regional newspapers outlining the exact vitamin C content of each of its Ribena products.

The charges, brought by the Commerce Commission, were the result of an investigation by two Auckland schoolgirls, then aged 14, who carried out the tests in 2004 as part of a school science project.

They tested the blackcurrant cordial against rival juices to find out which contained the most vitamin C.

Though Ribena's advertising campaign claims that "the blackcurrants in Ribena have four times the vitamin C of oranges", the girls found that each 100ml of Ribena contained only 22mg of vitamin C.

Just Juice products contained levels of about 72mg.

The girls complained to GSK, but after being fobbed off and told merely that "it's the blackcurrants have have it [vitamin C]", consumer affairs show Fair Go suggested they approach the Commerce Commission.

The commission's investigation found that although blackcurrants have more vitamin C than oranges, Ribena did not. It also found that cartoned 'Ready to Drink' Ribena, which claimed to have 7mg of vitamin C per 100g, had no detectable vitamin C at all.

According to Stuff.co.nz, commission lawyer Nick Flanagan said: "Many parents have been persuaded over many years that the product is healthy and good for children. In fact, the 'Ready to Drink' Ribena is high in sugar, more in fact than Coca Cola."

GSK Australia has also fessed to misleading advertising.

The Guardian reports that GSK said in a statement that the vitamin C concerns only affected products in Australia and New Zealand. "GSK has conducted thorough laboratory testing of vitamin C levels in Ribena in all other markets. This testing has confirmed that Ribena drinks in all other markets, including the UK, contain the stated levels of vitamin C, as prescribed on product labels." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.