Morrisons ad banned for ‘condoning’ unhealthy eating

Morrisons has come under fire from the advertising watchdog for ‘condoning’ unhealthy eating among children in one of the TV ads from its “Love it cheaper” marketing campaign.

Video: Morrisons banned burger TV ad


The ad showed a mother preparing a burger for her daughter that contained lettuce, tomato and onion. However, the daughter, on receiving the burger, takes the salad out and puts the top of the bun back on the burger.

A number of viewers challenged whether the ad “condoned or encouraged” an unhealthy lifestyle, especially in children.

Morrisons said that because the girl did not look disdainfully at the salad and removed it from the burger in front of her mother it was “perfectly feasible” that she would eat it later.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the fact the girl grabbed the salad and discarded it on the side of her plate suggested she would not eat it after the burger. It also ruled that because the voiceover, which said “Love burgers? Love them cheaper”, put the emphasis on the “love” of burgers it made burgers seem preferable to salad and therefore “disparaged” healthy eating.

The ASA banned the ad and warned Morrisons against portraying unhealthy lifestyles in future ads.

Morrisons says it is “disappointed with the ASA adjudication”.

“Trying to convince children to eat their fruit and vegetables is something that most parents will identify with.  Our aim with the ad was to reflect this in a humorous and engaging way,” a spokesman says.

The ad was part of Morrisons’ “ambitious” campaign to promote its multimillion pound investment in price cuts. It was aimed at reviving struggling sales, although the latest Kantar Worldpanel figures show that Morrisons sales dropped 3.8 per cent in the 12 weeks to 20 July.

Morrisons was also rapped earlier this year for showing ads during a series of children’s nursery rhymes that promoted bottles of spirits.

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