SAB ordered to withdraw ‘0.0% alcohol’ claim
Publish date: 08 January 2018
Issue Number: 756
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa
Castle Free faces having to re-label its alcohol-free product launched by SAB in October because it in fact contains 0.03% alcohol when it claimed it contained ‘0.0% alcohol’, notes Legalbrief. That it contains some alcohol is confirmed in the small print, which reads: ‘Contains de-alcoholised beer 0.03% alcohol’. According to a TimesLIVE report, Eckard van Antwerpen complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that SAB couldn’t have it both ways‚ and the watchdog agreed. It ordered the brewer to withdraw the ‘0.0% alcohol’ claim and not use it again. SAB’s attorneys‚ Adams & Adams‚ told the watchdog’s directorate that the presence of ‘trace amounts’ of alcohol did not make Castle Free’s claim misleading. And although there was no legal obligation on it to warn consumers about these trace amounts‚ it had done so because some consumers may wish to avoid drinking Castle Free for health‚ moral and religious reasons‚ they said. The ASA directorate said if SAB had confined itself to advertising the product as ‘alcohol-free’ it would have escaped sanction because this is acceptable for products with an alcohol content of less than 0.05% But it went as far as claiming ‘0% alcohol’ and 0.0% ALC/VOL’‚ neither of which was true.