ASA criticises Sainsbury’s label claims

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) this week hit out at an Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO ad which failed to disclose the hidden sugar content in Sainsbury’s own-label home-made yogurt.

The authority upheld a complaint from an insulin-dependent diabetic who found that far from “nothing” being added to the product – as its national press advertisement claimed – it contains sugar and double cream.

Sainsbury’s argues that the phrase “nothing added” implies nothing artificial and that a full list of ingredients is available in-store.

But the authority ruled the ad is “misleading” as it does not mention the sugar content and the company – which is trading under the “Making life taste better” banner – has been asked to change the wording.

Elsewhere in the ASA’s monthly report, global biotechnology giant Monsanto comes under fire for a series of national press ads by Bartle Bogle Hegarty. The ads, which are part of an effort to gain public acceptance of genetically modified (GM) foods, attracted a barrage of complaints.

Of the four complaints upheld by the ASA, the company comes in for particular criticism for implying its GM potatoes have been approved in 20 countries, when this is not the case.

The ASA has criticised Monsanto’s claims that its techniques are an extension of traditional cross-breeding.

Among the other companies to come in for criticism are car makers MG and Mercedes. Complaints were upheld against both companies for trying to hide the full cost of hire purchase deals.

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