Earlier this week, British advertising watchdog the ASA announced that it was not upholding complaint that queried whether maize or rice starch was used to thicken the 'naturally thick' yogurt.
The TV advert, which first aired in October 2013, is set in a prison visiting room.
During the visit, a voiceover states, ‘Discover Liberté yogurt. So incredibly creamy-tasting, so naturally thick. So liberating.’
A single complainant challenged whether the advert's claim that Liberté is 'naturally thick' was materially misleading, as they suspected that maize or rice starch was added to the yogurt during production to artificially thicken it.
Rice starch, which is used commonly as a thickener in the yogurt and infant formula industries, appears on the ingredient lists of several Liberté brand products.
During an investigation, Liberté manufacturer Yoplait UK assured the ASA, however, that the ingredient is used exclusively in the yogurt's separate fruit puree layer. It added that Liberté's thicker texture is the result of a straining process that delivers higher protein levels than found in regular yogurt.
“They therefore believed ‘naturally thick’ was a true and fair explanation of the texture of the yogurt layer,” said the ASA decision.
“The ASA noted rice starch, which was often added to low fat yogurts to artificially thicken them, appeared on the ingredient list for Liberté yogurts. However, we understood that rice starch formed part of the fruit puree layer of the product, rather than the yogurt itself. We considered that consumers were likely to understand that the claim ‘naturally think’ referred to the yogurt alone rather than the combined yogurt and fruit layer product and we therefore concluded that the claim was not misleading," it said.