Steven Bartlett Huel

Explained: Steven Bartlett’s real connection to *those* Huel adverts you see everywhere

The ad fails to mention he is on Huel’s board of directors

If you’ve watched anything on YouTube or TikTok recently, the likelihood is that you’ve been plagued a million times over with Steven Bartlett’s ad for Huel. You know the really annoying one where he says “Just try it” over and over? So, why won’t it leave you alone?

Well, it turns out he’s actually massively connected to Huel in that he’s on its board of directors.

People are now calling Steven out for promoting the product without making clear that he’s actually on the board of directors and a huge investor for Huel. One person called the “annoying” ad “biased” and another said he is being “portrayed as a customer giving an endorsement.”

According to its Companies House account, Steven became a director for Huel on the 26th March 2021. But if you haven’t had the absolute pleasure of seeing the ad, here it is:

The advert is promoting Huel’s Daily Greens product, a super greens powder that will set you back £50 for one pack.

In the advert, Steven Bartlett says: “This is the best product that Huel have released in recent times. Many of you will think of alternatives to this, but I’ve tried those alternatives and none of them are as tasty as Huel’s Daily Greens. When you get a chance, just try it. That’s all I’m gonna say. Just try it. And I think once you try it, you’ll understand why this is such an essential part of my life right now and will probably become an essential part of yours.”

However, the ad does not make clear in any way Steven’s affiliation with Huel. Earlier this week, TV critic Scott Bryan tweeted: “FYI *that* Steven Bartlett “just try it” Huel advert you’re seeing everywhere fails to mention that Steven Bartlett is on Huel’s board of directors.”

In the replies, one person said:  “Surely there’s an ASA [Advertising Standards Agency] right there if he’s being portrayed as a customer giving an endorsement.”And yes, according to Huel’s Companies House profile, Steven joined Huel’s board of directors in March 2021.

Steven Bartlett Huel

The top comment on the YouTube ad is also: “If I see another advert for this product I’m going to delete this app. I’m absolutely sick of seeing this. I DO NOT WANT IT!” The official Huel YouTube account replied: “OKAY.” Drama!

Another person commented: “This guy is an investor in Huel so definitely no bias here.”

This isn’t the first time Steven has been told off for dodgy advertising. In 2022, a Huel advert was banned from his podcast The Diary of a CEO after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it was not obviously identifiable as advertising material. It appeared in March 2022 during an episode titled “World’s Leading Psychologist: How To Detach From Overthinking and Anxiety: Dr Julie Smith E122”.

Steven said that while Huel sponsored the podcast it did not have editorial control over the ad and the hyperlink to Huel in the podcast description was not an affiliate link because he did not receive any direct benefit from any products purchased by a consumer through it. The ASA said the ad must not appear again in the form complained of and that it had told Huel and Mr Bartlett to ensure that “they made clear the commercial intent of advertising content in podcasts in future”.

The Tab has contacted Huel and Steven Bartlett for comment. 

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