Katie Price Instagram post banned by advertising watchdog over diet claim | Katie Price

A post on Katie Price’s Instagram account has been banned by the UK’s advertising regulator for irresponsibly encouraging a low calorie diet, while simultaneously failing to disclose it was an advert and making unauthorised weight loss claims.

The Instagram reel, a video shared on the glamour model’s account in August 2023, depicts her making meals throughout the day and talking about her efforts to lose weight while repeatedly promoting the Skinny Food Co line of low-calorie meals.

According to the final shot, the total calories depicted in all the day’s meals were just 755, just over a third of the recommended amount for an adult woman. According to the Advertising Standards Authority, diets below 800 calories a day must encourage users to take medical advice and be promoted for short-term use only.

Only one mention was made of the fact that the post was a paid advert: a single “#ad” hashtag in the written description that accompanied the post, which was cut off from view unless the user actively tapped on it to read the whole caption. A third complaint – that health claims including weight loss claims must be registered with a regulator – was also upheld.

The Instagram post has now been removed. Photograph: Advertising Standards Authority/PA

“We acknowledged that the reel featured the hashtag “#ad” in the caption. However, the identifier was placed at the end of the caption and was not visible without engaging with the post and expanding the text,” the ASA said. “We therefore concluded that the label was insufficiently prominent to obviously identify the ad as a marketing communication from the outset.”

“There was no explicit instruction that the diet must only be followed on a short-term basis, and no reference, either within the video or the caption, to the need to take medical advice before embarking on this diet,” the regulator added. “We therefore considered that consumers would understand from the ad that they could elect to follow a similar diet that fell below 800 kcal a day by consuming the same products, and other products from The Skinny Food Co’s range, without taking medical advice, until they achieved their desired weight.”

It is the fifth time an advert from the company has been banned by the ASA in the last four years. The four previous breaches of the code were related to claims made by Skinny Food on is own website and social media accounts, including falsely claiming products as “zero calorie”, hiding negative reviews, and misleading viewers about how much sugar was in fruit compared with their own chocolate brand.

Not Guilty Food Co Ltd, trading as The Skinny Food Co, said that it could not control what Price ate, but that being in a “calorie deficit” was a proven way to achieve weight loss.

The ASA said that Price had agreed to remove the ad, confirmed that she followed a calorie deficit approach, which she said she believed many people in the UK did, and asked for further information on how to make similar posts compliant in future.

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