Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both were Not upheld.
An ad on YouTube.com, and a poster, for a dairy milk alternative:
a. The YouTube ad featured a voice-over that stated, "Curiosity is in our nature. Discover the delicious taste of new Alpro almond milk. Eat well, feel uplifted, enjoy plant power with Alpro." One scene showed a milky liquid pouring from an almond on a tree.
b. The poster featured an image of a milky liquid pouring from a broken almond onto a bowl of cereal. Text stated "How do you milk an almond? feed your curiosity ... enjoy plant power".
The ASA received two complaints:
1. one complainant challenged whether the YouTube ad was misleading, because the product only contained 2% almond; and
2. one complainant challenged whether the poster was misleading, for the same reason.
1. & 2.
Alpro (UK) Ltd (Alpro) said that "almond milk" was commonly used as a descriptor for this type of product. They said that of the products currently available on the UK market almond content varied, but the two leading international branded varieties both had an almond content of 2%. They explained the product was made by processing roasted almonds into a creamy paste, which was then blended with spring water and other ingredients and nutrients, but that no additional flavourings were added to the product. They said the number of almonds used defined the texture and taste intensity of the product and that consumers liked the product with 2% roasted almonds, which equated to around 20 almonds per one litre pack. They advised that the almond content meant the product was a source of vitamin E and that each glass provided 30% of the RDA (recommended daily allowance). They said that, because their product could be described as almond milk, they felt they were able to use the verb "to milk" and imagery of milky liquids within their advertising. They pointed out that the poster included details of their Facebook page and Twitter account and that the QR code displayed lead directly to their website, where further information about the product was easily available. They said the ad did not conceal information about the product, but rather encouraged consumers to seek further information. They explained the ads had been very widely used across the UK throughout 2012, achieving tens of millions of views across multiple media channels, and that they had not received any other comments from consumers about being misled.
1. & 2. Not upheld
The ASA acknowledged the complainants believed that the description of the product as "almond milk" implied that it would contain more than 2% almonds. We noted that the almond content of commercially available almond milk varied, but that all contained a relatively low percentage of almonds. We considered that, whilst consumers might not be aware of exactly how almond milk was produced, they were likely to realise that almonds could not be 'milked' and that the production of almond milk would necessarily involve combining almonds with a suitable proportion of liquid to produce a 'milky' consistency. Because we accepted that such products were commonly known as 'almond milk' and that the almond content contributed to both the product's flavour and consistency, we considered it was not misleading for the ads to include imagery of almonds and milky liquids. We concluded that that the ads were unlikely to mislead consumers.
We investigated the ads under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means. (Misleading advertising) but did not find them in breach.
No further action necessary.