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Coke's Vitaminwater can't be called 'nutritious': U.K. watchdog

A British advertising watchdog has ruled that Coca-Cola must stop using the word "nutritious" in its ads for Vitaminwater - because it has too much sugar.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it thought consumers would understand the word "nutritious'' as a claim that Vitaminwater had added ingredients needed by the body in order to stay healthy, according to the Telegraph.

The ruling came after three people complained that the poster for Vitaminwater was misleading, with one of them claiming that each 500ml bottle contained more than 30g of sugar.

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Coke said the product is clearly labeled as having 23g and defended itself, saying it contained "nutritionally meaningful quantities of several nutrients including 25 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of four B vitamins" and "100 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C," according to the Telegraph piece.

Coca-Cola is facing similar heat on this side of the pond, too.

In the United States, consumers and health advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest are suing over claims that Coca-Cola is using deceptive labeling to sell the drinks, according to the Associated Press.

In July, a district court judge wrote that Vitaminwater's use of the word "healthy" violated Food and Drug Administration labeling rules.

What's more interesting about this case, the fact that companies are being targeted for trying to market sugar water as healthy, or that just three people in the U.K. were able to deal a hefty blow?

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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