The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has warned a British brewer against advertising its beer as a healthy, nutritious food.
An ad for Gales Best beer, made by Hampshire-based George Gale & Co, was headlined 'Food for Thought' and followed by a quotation from Brewing Research International that said: 'Beer is an all round food containing a balanced package of nutrients and minerals and can be considered to make a positive contribution to a healthy diet'. The reverse of the beer mat had the slogan, 'VITAMIN Beer ... I'll drink to that' beneath four beer brand labels.
While there is some evidence to suggest that a small, regular intake of beer may help prevent heart disease, researchers are not sure whether it is the alcohol, and its anti-inflammatory effect, or the nutrients within the beverage that work to cut the health risk.
George Gale claimed that it used natural ingredients only and believed strongly that they were a producer of high quality wholesome products. The company submitted a review paper concerning the nutritional content of beer.
However, the Authority noted that alcohol inhibited the uptake of several vitamins and minerals. Although the advertisers had shown that beer contained several vitamins and minerals, because they had not proven that beer had the nutritional benefits claimed in the advertisement, the advertisement was deemed misleading.
George Gale said it had not printed any new point of sale material, and the campaign would be discontinued. The Authority advised the advertisers to seek advice from the Committee of Advertising Practice Copy Advice team before using this approach again.