Ex-footballers rapped over CBD advertising claims

Supreme CBD gummies

Liverpool company, Supreme CBD, has been warned over adverts which claimed its CBD products could prevent, treat, or cure disease, which is a breach of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) code.

CBD – Cannabidiol – is a naturally occurring chemical found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It is not psychoactive and is often contained in various products and is shown to have multiple uses, like adding it to coffee, mixing it into skincare, or selling it on its own.

Complaints were raised over four X (formerly Twitter) posts from the accounts of former footballers John Hartson and Matt Le Tissier, and professional fighter Anthony Fowler for Supreme CBD.

Ad a, the first tweet by John Hartson, seen on 5 February 2023, featured the text “Retweet and comment if you’ve tried these CBD gummy bears before bed they are honestly magic from @Supreme_cbd leave a comment an [sic] I’ll buy one of you a box or anyone else use code Hartson40 at supremecbd.uk/collections/al…believe me they help you sleep so much better with less anxiety”. Below the text was an image of Supreme CBD’s Large Gummy Bears product with an option to select quantity and a link to “Add to Cart”.

Ad b, a second tweet by John Hartson, seen on 6 February 2023, stated, “Hello Dave tell your Mrs I’ll buy her a box to help with her anxiety, @supreme_cbd is changing peoples lives for the better, I’ll DM you details [thumbs up emoji]”.

Ad c, a tweet by Anthony Fowler, was seen on 6 February 2023, tagging @JohnHartson10 and @supreme_cbd, in response to a tweet which replied to ad (b) asking, “John does this really work for anxiety and insomnia?”, stated “Yes mate read the comments on his pinned tweet”.

And ad d was a tweet with an embedded video by Matt Le Tissier, seen on 15 May, tagging @Supreme CBD, featured text “I’ve been very sceptical of a lot of things including @supreme_cbd when it was first recommended to me, but it’s honestly a game changer for people with anxiety/depression any aches/pain or insomnia, my followers can save 40% with code Tiss40 at checkout supremecbd.uk”.

The embedded video included Matt Le Tissier with three types of CBD product. In the video he made claims, “These gummies people are just telling me how well they are sleeping after taking these, helps a lot with the anxiety as does the oils” as well as “People are saying how these things are changing their lives”.

Concerns were raised about the claims the product could affect health, and that they were not identifiable as adverts.

In response, Supreme CBD, based in Norfolk Street, Liverpool, said Supreme CBD was Anthony Fowler’s own brand, and they did not consider that his relationship with John Hartson was commercial.

Matt le Tissier in a Supreme CBD video

They said there was no official contract in place other than a verbal agreement that Mr Hartson would receive a small amount of commission from his codes, as well as some free products. They said Mr Hartson had originally come to the brand as a paying customer, before becoming part of the Supreme CBD community. They said they had not been responsible for Mr Hartson’s tweets and he had not been given any guidance.

And they said that Matt Le Tissier was an affiliate and received commission from his personalised code, but there was no official contract and the arrangement had been made verbally. They explained that there were no restrictions in terms of what he was allowed to post about the brand.

Anthony Fowler, for Supreme CBD, said they had been unaware that the posts had been making medical claims and said that they would refrain from making such claims in the future.

John Hartson said that he acknowledged in some instances his tweets had made claims that he could not substantiate.

Matt Le Tissier said that he had been referring to personal experience and feedback he had received from others, and was unaware that talking about the benefits of the products would be unacceptable. He said he would ensure he did not mention any medical benefits in the future.

The complaints were upheld and the ASA ruled that the ads must not appear in their current form.

It said: “We told Supreme CBD, Anthony Fowler, John Hartson and Matt Le Tissier to ensure their future ads were obviously identifiable as marketing communications, and that identifiers such as ‘#ad’ were used and were clearly and prominently displayed.

“We also told them to ensure their future ads did not state or imply that the products could prevent, treat or cure human disease.”