The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has banned the screening of a Tesco sausage advert, ruling that it was “misleading” to consumers.
The 30-second clip for the supermarket’s own Butcher’s Choice Sausages featured pigs in a picturesque rural field – implying that the animals used for the product are free-range. The ASA decided to pull the plug on the advert shown on 11 May after receiving nine complaints, four of which claimed that pigs used for the sausages were bred with restricted movement.
The ASA ruled that “the term outdoor bred had an industry-wide, recognised meaning: that the pigs were born in fields, where they are kept until weaning and then they were moved indoors”. Tesco Butcher’s Choice Sausages are “made from a mixture of both indoor and outdoor bred trim”- meaning that the advert depicting unrestricted movement “was misleading”.
“We're a bit baffled by this ruling,” said a Tesco spokesman. “The farmer featured is a Tesco supplier and produces some of the pork featured in our ad. We genuinely don't see how the ASA can say an ad showing a genuine Tesco farmer can be misleading.”
In response an ASA spokesman told Yahoo! News, “We can imagine they [Tesco] are disappointed by the ruling but the fact is that we have found the ad breached the advertising code and therefore it had to be withdrawn – meaning that they can’t repeat it in its current form”.
“Whilst we can appreciate advertisers can be upset when we find they have breached the code, as a regulator sometimes we do that and have to make the decision,” he added.