UK: ASA bans misleading Iceland factory loaf advert

London / UK. (rbc) Following a complaint from the British Real Bread Campaign, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that an advertisement marketing a range of mass-produced, part-baked loaves as handmade was «misleading» and should not appear again.

The online video advertisement showed an exterior shot of a traditional windmill, before cutting to what appeared to be the small, artisan bakery inside. There a man in traditional baker’s outfit was shown mixing, kneading, scaling, shaping and loading dough into a wood-fired brick oven, all by hand. He said «our stonebaked breads are made from the best wheat, starter dough, water, salt and an amount of yeast».

Ruling on case A15-305403, The ASA «understood that none of the products in the range, including the stone baked items, were produced by hand. Because the depiction of the baking process, and claims surrounding it, did not accurately reflect the way in which the products were produced, and suggested they contained fewer ingredients than was the case, we concluded that [the advertisement] breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation)».

The ASA concluded that the advertisement «must not appear again in its current form. We told Iceland to ensure their future ads did not state or imply products were subject to fewer processes, or contained fewer ingredients, than was the case».

Real Bread Campaign coordinator Chris Young said: «This ASA decision is great news for shoppers seeking an honest loaf of Real Bread and for independent, local bakeries employing genuine artisan bakers who really do make fresh, additive-free loaves by hand».

The ruling follows the ASA investigations team stating in May this year «…that consumers were likely to associate the term Real Bread with the Campaign, and therefore any references to «Real Bread» which related to bread that did not comply with the term as defined by the Campaign had the potential to mislead consumers». The ASA Ruling on Iceland Foods (Complaint reference number A15-305403) is available on the British ASA-Server.