View Full Version : New Zealand schoolgirls find there's no C in Ribena

26th March 07, 07:28 PM
New Zealand schoolgirls find there's no C in Ribena

Mon Mar 26, 2:08 PM

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Global drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline faces a court case on Tuesday for misleading advertising after two 14-year-olds found its popular blackcurrant drink Ribena contained almost no vitamin C.

High school students Anna Devathasan and Jenny Suo 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," Devathasan, now aged 17, told New Zealand newspapers of the school experiment.

A GSK spokeswoman in New Zealand refused to comment ahead of the case on the grounds that it could affect the legal process.

A GSK spokeswoman in Britain, which is the lead market for Ribena, said the company had been in discussion with the New Zealand Commerce Commission regarding Vitamin C levels and the way these levels had been communicated in New Zealand.

"GSK has conducted thorough laboratory testing of Vitamin C levels in Ribena in all other markets," the spokeswoman said.

"This testing has confirmed that Ribena drinks in all other markets, including the UK, contain the stated levels of Vitamin C, as described on product labels."

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.

But it now faces 15 charges related to misleading advertising in an Auckland court, risking potential fines of up to NZ$3 million ($2.1 million).


This is quite funny. I used to drink some of it when I was younger.
I guess it didn't help the British kids none with their scurvy!

26th March 07, 10:54 PM
This is the last time I trust those fucking talking grapes.

27th March 07, 03:56 AM
When I was little, I called it 'Mooseberry Juice'.

Something to do with Rocky and Bullwinkle, I think.

That is all.

Carry one.

27th March 07, 07:03 AM
Heard this on the radio today. They got fined about $200 000 and have to advertise their apologies and corrections.

27th March 07, 07:20 AM
Not much of a shock when pharmaceuticals meets soft drinks. The original Ribena probably DID have vitamin C. It's probably just cheaper and more profitable to wave a currant near the bottles for GSK.

27th March 07, 07:23 AM
Has anyone else even thought of doing like, some kind of professional laboratory test? Or is the government just going on the word of these two 14 year-old kids?

27th March 07, 08:59 AM
If the kids could test the vitamin C levels in it, I'm sure it didn't take long for the pros to do it, either.

I mean, it's one thing to try and find the exact levels, you're right. But when it's advertised as "4x that of oranges" and you find "almost no", then you know their claim is bullshit.

Englebert Von Stropenheimer
28th March 07, 01:44 AM
That is too bad. There is no reason to punish GSK for misleading the public about something as frivolous as vitamin C in their drink. I think this is just another witchhunt by countries worldwide in order to make it hard for management to increase shareholder value. The only obligation any corporation has is to its shareholders, and I don't care if they're lying to the public in order to add to their bottom line. No one should.

28th March 07, 02:14 AM
MJS, is it really you????

Englebert Von Stropenheimer
28th March 07, 02:19 AM

28th March 07, 02:24 AM
I don't believe you.

28th March 07, 02:27 AM
I don't believe in a lot of things, but at least I can tell a friend from a stranger you piece of shit.

28th March 07, 02:51 AM
Are you talking to me or MJ-san?

If me, that hurts.

28th March 07, 02:56 AM
I don't believe in a lot of things, but at least I can tell a friend from a stranger you piece of shit.



28th March 07, 04:09 AM


28th March 07, 05:49 AM
See what vitamin C deficiency can do??