The complainant said the ads discouraged lactose-intolerant people from visiting medical professionals and implied elimination diets were safe, but the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), said Arla had not acted inappropriately in either case.
Of the first charge ASA stated: “Because we understood lactose intolerance did not require essential medical treatment, and because the Arla website advised people to consult a GP in certain circumstances, we concluded that the ad was not in breach of the Code.”
Of the encouragement of elimination diets, ASA noted Arla had worked with dietary and medical experts in designing the diet and provided detailed information on its website about the implications of going on the diet, and that medical advice should be sought if conditions worsened.
It had been approved by the British Dietetic Association (BDA).
“We considered that readers were likely to understand what dieting entailed and noted the Lactofree website gave significant information on what the diet involved prior to readers starting it. We concluded that the claims were unlikely to mislead.”
The ad stated: "LACTO FREEDOM - If you're not able to tolerate dairy products, then think again - Lactofree is dairy you can enjoy". Text underneath stated "... Are you lactose intolerant? If you experience pain or discomfort after consuming milk, it's worth checking to see whether you could be lactose intolerant. The safest and easiest way to do this is to experiment with removing different items from your diet. Lactofree has created the Elimination Diet to help you do this (visit www.lactofree.co.uk) ...".