Feeds

GSK runs out of juice over Ribena claims

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

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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." ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.