Huel adverts that claimed its meal replacement shakes could help consumers save money during the cost of living crisis have been banned after the advertising watchdog ruled they were misleading and irresponsible.
One advert, which ran on Facebook in August and September, said the shakes helped “keep money in your pockets”, and claimed an “entire month’s worth of Huel” worked out at less than £50.
The second advert, on the company’s website, was entitled “Five ways to save money on food” and said: “Eating healthily doesn’t need to break the bank.”
The Advertising Standards Authority, which upheld two complaints made against the firm, acknowledged Huel said its products would save money when compared with other expensive convenience foods, but said the adverts did not make that clear.
The ASA also found one portion of Huel contained 400 calories, and in order to meet recommended calorie intakes, it would cost at least £350 a month.
The regulator also found the adverts were irresponsible, as they did not make clear that a traditional diet of three meals a day could not be directly replaced with three portions of Huel while still consuming sufficient calories.
The ASA said: “The ads must not appear in the form complained about. We told Huel to ensure that their ads did not state or imply that eating Huel for all meals instead of a ‘traditional’ diet was cheaper, unless they held adequate substantiation.
“We also told them to ensure their ads did not imply that three portions of Huel per day contained sufficient calories. We told them not to make general health claims unless they were accompanied by a specific authorised health claim.”