LONDON A television commercial for Nutella broke advertising rules because it exaggerated the chocolate spread's health benefits, the industry watchdog said on Wednesday.
The Advertising Standards Authority upheld 53 complaints from viewers who said the commercial overstated the role Nutella can play in a child's balanced diet.
The advert showed mothers and children having breakfast and explained that each jar of Nutella contains 52 hazelnuts, cocoa and the equivalent of a glass of skimmed milk.
A voiceover said: "Nutella releases energy slowly, so it can be part of a balanced breakfast."
The watchdog said the advert was misleading because the spread is high in fat and sugar.
"We considered that the ad misleadingly implied the spread made a more significant nutritional contribution to a balanced breakfast than was the case," it said in a written ruling.
It rejected two further complaints about Nutella's ingredients and the rate at which it releases energy.
The watchdog said Nutella's maker Ferrero UK must not show the commercial again in its current form.
Ferrero UK said in a statement: "At no stage did we set out to mislead consumers as to the nature of Nutella Hazelnut Spread and we have always been very clear about the ingredients and nutritional information in all of our communications, on all our packs and on our Web site."
(Reporting by Peter Griffiths; editing by Steve Addison