PETALING JAYA, Dec 4 — Malaysian actress and celebrity entrepreneur Neelofa has come under intense social media scrutiny recently after users criticised the supposed benefits of her latest product.
While the 30-year-old has enjoyed success in her headscarf business, Naelofar, she is feeling the heat from social media users after many have raised their doubts over her newest offering, the Nilofa banana milk drink.
The drink has reportedly gained popularity in South Korea and is said to be able to reduce obesity and provide other nutritional benefits to consumers like lowering high blood pressure, increase metabolism rate and even remove toxins from the body.
But social media users were having none of it as they voiced their displeasure and heavily criticised Neelofa’s product saying that the supposed benefits are inaccurate and misleading.
False advertising panggil banana milk is one thing, tipu pasal khasiat is another. Mana datangnya potassium n fibre tu kalau pisang pun takde? Also the sugar content is actually quite high takyah nak sesuai untuk diet sangat. Nak diet makan pisang! https://t.co/DZ01TquC5K pic.twitter.com/pYKGVV59R5— Juju (@arxxxxmand) November 28, 2019
As the number of complaints grew over the past week, popular UK-based general surgeon Dr Nur Amalina Che Bakri chimed in and gave her two cents on the matter as she called out Neelofa and her team to clarify their claims.
Hi @Neelofa, I hope you and your team could clarify this? Of course there’s nothing wrong to sell banana milk, but the advertisement is a bit misleading. I’m sure you’re aware that you are not allowed to advertise over claim health benefits, could you please explain? Thank you. https://t.co/BYLBBrXInV— Dr. Amalina (@DrAmalinaBakri) December 3, 2019
Dr Nur Amalina said that although there was nothing wrong with trying to sell her product, the advertisements accompanying it were misleading the public.
“Hi Neelofa, I hope you and your team could clarify this. Of course, there’s nothing wrong to sell banana milk, but the advertisement is a bit misleading,” wrote Dr Nur Amalina.
“I’m sure you’re aware that you are not allowed to advertise over claim health benefits, could you please explain?”
Many users have claimed that Neelofa is guilty of overselling or falsely advertising the Nilofa banana milk as they criticised the drink’s supposed high nutritional value and sugar content among other things.
Tak paham apa beza gula dgn gula tambahan? Gula jugak kan? Jumlah gula 9.2g/100ml , gula tambahan 5.6g/100ml. So jadinya gula 14.8g/100ml peh lagi tinggi gula dari coke dengan pepsi kot?? Baik aku minum pepsi ja 😂 https://t.co/X2BVkyOEiH— samantha? (@nrlsabrinaaa) November 28, 2019
This is very false advertising. Mengikut nutrition labelling, susu tu tidak mengandungi fiber langsung. So how they can claim that milk can help to remove toxic/waste from body? Second, no ingredient inside the milk that can help to control insulin production🤷🏻 ♀️ pic.twitter.com/1oRx52vhUJ— Nur Amelia (@ameliameliyy) November 29, 2019
“It’s 9.2 grammes of total sugar per 100 millilitres, 5.6 grammes of added sugar per 100 millilitres,” wrote a user.
“So that’s 14.8 grammes per 100 millilitres, isn’t that more sugar than Coke or Pepsi? I should just drink Pepsi then.”
Social media users have pointed out that it was almost impossible for the drink to have such substantial health benefits if it, in fact, has a high sugar content and no fibre, coupled with the fact that there were no traces of actual bananas in it.
After seeing a doctor raise concerns about the product, more social media users have joined in on the argument and have expressed their deep anger with the advertising methods used by celebrities.
Frustrated to some artist and instafamous on how they're selling their brand. This kind of marketing isn't helpful. It is bad for the future of your brand and you could lose the trust of your customers. https://t.co/0iFqQ3TiMk— setōken ? (@setokentangan) December 4, 2019
Social media users have said that it was both frustrating and disappointing to see celebrities like Neelofa more focused on the business aspect of things and would do anything to promote their product, even if the claims were inaccurate.
Users added that this type of advertising and marketing would be detrimental to celebrity products in the future, as consumers will lose faith in their products.
“This kind of marketing isn’t helpful. It is bad for the future of your brand and you could lose the trust of your customers,” wrote a user.
Despite the warranted frustration of some customers and social media users, Neelofa and her team have yet to release a statement regarding the matter.