Fonterra milked the benefits of dairy products a drop too far and will make changes to its website following a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.
The complainant said five claims on Fonterra's website about the nutritional benefits of dairy products were factually untrue - including that dairy is an "essential part of a balanced diet" and "we all need it".
The complainant referred to the Ministry of Health's nutrition guidelines, which said all essential nutrients could be obtained from a well-planned vegan diet involving no dairy products.
"Therefore dairy is not needed at any age, and is not essential or vital to a balanced, nutritious diet as claimed," they wrote.
The complainant also disputed Fonterra's claims that milk is the richest dietary source of calcium, and that no other source of calcium can be absorbed as well as dairy, pointing to green vegetables with more absorbable calcium.
Fonterra responded to the complaint, saying it would change four of its online claims - including to say dairy was "important", rather than "essential".
It refused to change the claim that "no other source of calcium can be absorbed as well by the body, the other nutrients in dairy foods help the absorption", saying the statement was "technically correct".
However, the Advertising Standards Authority disagreed, saying Fonterra had failed to adequately substantiate the claim, and it was likely to lead consumers.
The authority also upheld another part of the complaint, after Fonterra continued to refer to dairy as "vital" to a balanced, nutritious diet, saying it was potentially misleading.