The advertisement with a male voiceover (MVO) referred to the following:
MVO: “When you hail from a wind-battered island in the North Atlantic you need to have a fighting spirit. The waves and the mountains will punish you if you don't hold your own. Luckily, CocoRidge has your back. With an essential potassium boost, CocoRidge Coconut Water helps you punch above your weight by providing the natural hydration and electrolytes you need to reach your potential. So, whether you're catching your first wave or competing on the world stage, CocoRidge - hydrate to create”.
The complainant had two issues with the advertisement.
1. He said that the advertisement implied that the product was high in potassium and contained an ‘essential potassium boost’. He considered, however, that the potassium levels contained within the drink were not high enough to register a high percentage of the required Recommended Daily Allowance and therefore the reference to ‘potassium boost’ in his opinion was misleading.
2. The complainant said he also had concerns in relation to the use of the phrases ‘punch above your weight’ and ‘reach your full potential’ as they created the impression that the product was capable of improving athletic performance. The complainant queried whether there was any scientific evidence or clinical studies available to substantiate these claims.
The advertisers said that one 500ml can of CocoRidge Coconut Water contained 16% of the daily recommended amount of potassium for the average adult as per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). They said that potassium was defined as an electrolyte in the US National Library of Medicine and there were studies available which indicated that electrolytes (including potassium) can increase sports performance.
The advertisers made reference to the following studies:
Kovacs EMR, Senden JMG, Brouns F. Urine color, osmolality and specific electrical conductance are not accurate measures of hydration status during post exercise rehydration. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1999; 39: 47–53PubMed:
Saunders B, Noakes TD, Dennis SC. Water and electrolyte shifts with partial fluid replacement during exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 1999; 80: 318–23
Maughan RJ. Fluid and electrolyte loss and replacement in exercise. J Sports Sci 1991; 9 (Special): 117–42
Nancy J. Rehrer Fluid and Electrolyte Balance in Ultra-Endurance Sport. Sports Medicine August 2001, Volume 31, Issue 10, pp 701-715
The advertisers also said that on receipt of the complaint the advertisement was withdrawn.
The Executive informed the advertisers that the references provided by them (above) were not sufficient to substantiate the claims made in their advertising. They asked the advertisers to provide the Authority with the full papers on the studies referenced and to indicate where in the papers the relevant substantiation was provided.
The advertisers reverted with their initial correspondence again.
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They considered that the advertisers had not provided the relevant substantiation for the claims made in their advertising.
In the absence of relevant substantiation from the advertisers, the Committee considered the advertising to be in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 8.8 and 8.9 of the Code.
The advertisement should not be used in its current format again.