Little Me Organics drops ‘organic’ label from website after ASA ruling

Natural baby products brand Little Me Organics has removed the word ‘organic’ from product images on its website after the Advertising Standards Agency upheld a complaint about the use of the word organic to describe a product with less than 5% organic ingredients.

Brand owner KMI Brands says it has taken the action as a precautionary measure and has no plans to change the brand name or revise pack labelling.

The complaint lodged with the ASA concerned a product listing for Little Me Organics Oh So Gentle Hair and Body Wash on the Boots consumer website. The text for the ad stated “Little Me Organics Oh So Gentle Hair and Body Wash has pear, mallow and organic aloe vera to clean and moisturise your baby’s delicate hair and sensitive skin”.

The complainant said claims that the product was “organic” were misleading because they implied it met an independent organic standard.

Boots provided the ASA with organic certification for the organic ingredients in the product from four accredited certfiers including the The Soil Association. But the information they supplied about the percentage breakdown of the organic ingredients in the product revealed that these totalled less than 5%.

The ASA said it acknowledged that there was no legal definition of organic for non-food products but said that private certifier standards for organic personal care products required that products should contain a “high proportion of certified organic ingredients”. Because of the low percentage of organic ingredients in Oh So Gentle Hair and Body Wash (less than five per cent), the ASA judged that the Boots advertisement would be misleading to the average consumer. It instructed the retailer not to use the ad in its original form.

Boots has since re-advertised the product but with a product image and description that omits the word ‘organic’.

A spokesperson for KMI Brands told Natural Products that “with no recognised guidelines covering the use of the word organic the ASA ruling was disappointing. All Little Me products are clearly labelled indicating the organic content and are in line with industry regulations.”