H&B staff qualified to give nutritional advice says regulator

A complaint from a consumer that Holland & Barrett staff are not qualified to give customers nutritional advice in-store been rejected by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The consumer questioned the level of expertise of Holland & Barrett staff after reading on the retailer’s website the claim that “our associates are qualified to advise … associates at H&B have a nationally recognised qualification in nutrition and supplements”, because they understood that staff were not qualified to provide individual or general health advice.

In its adjudication, the ASA said that the H&B training programme led to a QCF qualification which was recognised by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Oqual) and “considered it was clear from the claims … that the advice given would be in relation to nutrition and supplements, rather than general or individual health advice”.

“We considered that the course gave participants suitable knowledge to be able to advise on nutrition and supplements and the advertising had not exaggerated their expertise in that area,” the ASA added, concluding that the advertising did not breach the code.