For decades, Indian parents have trusted chocolate-flavoured drinks such as Bournvita, Complan and Horlicks, convinced that they make kids healthier. When Cadbury forced an influencer to take down a video flagging unhealthy sugar levels in Bournvita, the chocolate giant didn't anticipate the backlash that followed.
After a scientist and Zerodha founder Nithin Kamath questioned Bournvita's claims of being a health drink on Twitter, it has been pulled up over false advertising by a child rights body.
Cadbury's action leaves a bitter taste
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, has instructed Cadbury's parent firm Mondelez India International to review and pull down misleading ads and labels.
Apart from high sugar, the NCPCR is also concerned about the presence of other substances including colourants that could harm children.
The body has mentioned that Bournvita's labels don't contain disclosures mandated under food safety regulations.
It's not just the sugar causing damage
In his video, Instagrammer Revant Himatsingka had also highlighted the presence of cocoa solids and artificial colour, which could even lead to cancer.
Himatsingka had agreed to take down the video since he didn't have the resources to fight a legal battle against Cadbury, which had employed a top law firm.
Trapped by its own claims?
As the firm accused the influencer of spreading misinformation and panic among consumers, it also claimed that Bournvita was designed based on science.
It was then questioned by a qualified clinician scientist who goes by the alias The Liver Doc on Twitter, since he didn't find any scientific study to substantiate the claims.
The legal action against an influencer has hence dragged Bournvita's makers into further regulatory trouble.
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