UK CBD claims attract attention from advertising regulator

A UK CBD seller has received a warning from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over health claims in marketing materials.

The ASA, which reviews advertising for breaches under the Advertising Practices Committees (APCs) rules, told London-based Blessed CBD to stop making the claims.

ASA cited four “infomercials” about Blessed products that were placed by Consumer Logic Research, an affiliate marketing partner of Blessed CBD. The material appeared between June and December 2021

The case arose out of a complaint by the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance, which disputed whether the advertisements misleadingly implied that the products were independently recommended, and cited misleading claims that the products can prevent, treat or cure human diseases.

Code violation

In response to the complaint, Blessed CBD, which also trades as Enigmaa Ltd, said it had no control over the infomercials but had advised Consumer Logic Research to remove the material, which the distributor did.

“We found that the advertisements violated the Code because they: did not clearly identify that they were infomercials; have not specified their commercial intention; and implied that the merchant was acting for purposes outside of their trade or business,” ASA wrote in its ruling.

The Authority cited a number of specific violations regarding CBD health claims for conditions such as “chronic pain, seizures, sleep disturbances, etc.” To make such claims, products must be authorized on the UK Nutrition and Health Claims Register. CBD products are not included in this register.

Offenses

“We also told them to ensure that future advertisements do not make medicinal claims for unlicensed products; did not state or imply that CBD oil supplements could prevent, treat or cure human disease; that any general health claim was accompanied by an authorized specific health claim,” according to the ASA ruling.

CBD products in the UK have also come under scrutiny from other authorities. In September, officials in multiple jurisdictions reported 44 products with presumably higher levels of THC than allowed, and many products with significantly less CBD than what is listed on the package label. This led to the FSA ordering the removal of the products.

Blessed CBD products are among 12,000 pre-approved by the Food Standards Agency as part of an ongoing food safety review.

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