Brewer can't make health claims
British watchdog squelches Coors' 'beer belly myth' advertising
Mar 10, 2004 - An English advertising watchdog has criticized Coors for making claims about health benefits in a four-page magazine insert promoting its Carling lager. The advertising repeats the oft-made assertions that beer in moderation protects against heart disease, reduces blood pressure and is a good source of vitamins.
Under a heading marked "the myth about the beer belly," the leaflet claims: "Many scientists now believe that it's the late-night kebabs and curries which are really to blame for the modern day 'beer belly.'"
A table at the bottom compares the calorie content of 100ml of beer with the same amount of gin, rum, whisky, cognac and wine. The results show beer with fewer calories.
The Food Commission challenged the claims, and accused Coors of being irresponsible by encouraging people to drink beer to maintain heart health, and took the matter too the Advertising Standards Authority. The ASA has ordered Coors not to repeat the same claims.
Coors Brewers, a branch of Adolph Coors in Colorado, makes numerous best-selling beers including Grolsch, Caffrey's and Worthingtons.
It maintains research has shown moderate levels of alcohol in the blood increased the amount of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol which was associated with lower rates of coronary heart disease. The company also asserts that moderate consumption of beer could reduce blood pressure due to its low ratio of salt to potassium, and that one liter of beer provides 10% to 20% of the recommended daily allowance of various vitamins.
The ASA said the claims were medicinal, which were not allowed by law.
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