"GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Ribena, has been fined $217,500 after admitting it mislead customers about the vitamin C content of the blackcurrant drink.
The company appeared in Auckland District Court to face charges alleging 15 breaches of the Fair Trading Act.
It admitted that its cartoned Ready To Drink Ribena, which it claimed had 7mg of Vitamin C per 100ml, in fact had no detectable Vitamin C content.
The company also admitted it may have misled customers in advertisements saying the blackcurrants in Ribena syrup had four times the Vitamin C of oranges."
Gary Moller comments:
Read the whole story - it is a wonderful one about how a couple of school girls doing a school science experiment outed a dishonest pharmaceutical giant.
The Advertising Standards Authority and Brandpower deserve no accolades in this affair by showing no interest in the girls' findings. Action only happened after the story aried on a television consumer programme.
All is not lost for Ribena with regards to being able to make health claims: It can climb onto the "99% fat-free" bandwagon because it is all sugar and no fat - more sugar than Coca Cola in fact. How about that!