Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Ribena has 'almost no vitamin C'

It's advertised as the drink that gives you a healthy dose of Vitamin C.

But the makers of Ribena are reportedly facing a £1 million fine after two schoolgirls found it contained almost none.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is accused of misleading advertising in New Zealand after Anna Devathasan and Jenny Suo, both 14, made the discovery.

The pair tested the children's drink against advertising claims that 'the blackcurrants in Ribena have four times the vitamin C of oranges' in 2004.

Instead, the two found the syrup-based drink contained almost no trace of vitamin C, and one commercial orange juice brand contained almost four times more than Ribena.

'We thought we were doing it wrong, we thought we must have made a mistake,' said Devathasan, now aged 17.

Ribena, first made in the 1930s and distributed to British children during World War Two, is now sold in 22 countries.

GSK paid little attention to the claims of Devathasan and Suo until their complaints reached the Commerce Commission and have now ended up in court.

It now faces 15 charges related to misleading advertising in an Auckland court.