The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has told Tesco to stop showing a television advert for sausages after concluding it is misleading. The advert for the supermarket’s own-brand Butcher’s Choice Sausages depicted pigs roaming across a field and in a barn.
Although the footage used by Tesco has been confirmed to be from one of the grocer’s suppliers, the ASA decided to react after complaints made by four viewers believing the meat used for Tesco-branded sausages came from indoor-bred and reared pigs.
The ASA ruling said pigs used for the sausages were bred both indoors and outdoors, with their movement restricted. It said: "We noted that in all scenes the pigs were shown to be in a spacious and free environment. In that context, we considered that consumers were likely to interpret the ad to mean that the pigs used to make the Butcher's Choice sausages were reared in an unrestricted environment and had access to outdoor pasture. Since we understood that that was not the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading."
Tesco has since stated that it is confused about the ASA decision, especially due to the provenance of the footage:
"We're a bit baffled by this ruling. 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."