Former glamour model Katie Price has had an advert for The Skinny Food Co banned by the UK advertising watchdog for promoting a diet that contained only 755 calories. The NHS recommends a daily calorie intake of 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men. In her Instagram reel for the food company, Price detailed her daily meals, which included low-calorie chocolate malt balls for dessert. Price’s advertisement and promotional claims were deemed “irresponsible” by the Advertising Standards Authority. The Skinny Food Co was also advised to identify future adverts as marketing communications using more clearly visible markers than just #ad.

Two complaints were lodged: one that the advert irresponsibly promoted a low calorie diet and the other that it was not obviously recognisable as an advert. Adverts that promote diets involving fewer than 800 calories must be for short-term use and encourage medical advice. The ASA found the Skinny Food Co advert did not spell out these restrictions or reference the need for medical advice. The regulator added that consumers could easily think it was okay to eat below the recommended number of calories without consulting a doctor on a long-term basis until their desired weight was reached.

The Skinny Food Co argued it couldn’t control who ate what, but that being in a “calorie deficit” helped to lose weight. However, the ASA claimed that The Skinny Food Co and Price did not display the #ad label prominently enough, which could lead most people to think it was an organic social media post instead of paid for advertising. Additionally, because the advert made health claims that weren’t authorised on the official Great Britain nutrition and health claims register, it broke the rules.

Following the ASA’s judgement, Price agreed to take down the post and asked for revised guidelines on how to produce compliant entries in the future. Meanwhile, both The Skinny Food Co and Katie Price have remained silent on BBC News’ request for comments. The watchdog has ruled that the advert should not be repeated in the format that triggered the complaints

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