A TV ad for Quorn featured Mo Farah describing a training regime involving eating protein and practicing long distance running. Farah said, "Quorn pieces are a healthy protein source, because they're low in saturated fat. Practice, protein. Practice, protein ... Make Quorn Pieces part of your programme." On-screen text stated "NUTRITIONALLY HEALTHY PROTEIN SOURCE". The ad showed two close-up shots of Quorn packaging, text on which stated "Quorn - Healthy Protein - MEAT FREE [in smaller text] - Chicken Pieces".
Eleven viewers, one of whom was a farmer who produced beef and lamb, challenged whether the ad and specifically the use of the term "chicken" was misleading, because they considered it implied the product contained chicken.
Marlow Foods said the only use of the word "chicken" occurred directly underneath the words "meat free." They believed that, together, the words "meat free chicken pieces" would be understood by the consumer and did not suggest that the product contained chicken. They supplied brand awareness data which showed a 95% recognition rate among respondents that Quorn was a meat-free or meat-alternative brand.
Clearcast endorsed Marlow Foods' response and added that they considered any misunderstanding was unlikely to be compounded by the text "NUTRITIONALLY HEALTHY PROTEIN SOURCE."
The ASA noted that 95% of respondents in the brand awareness survey, when asked which of a list of meat-free or meat-alternative brands they had heard of, identified Quorn. We noted that the sample had been weighted to take into account the proportion of vegetarians in the general population. We considered that Quorn was an established and well-known brand of vegetarian products and noted that the words "Chicken Pieces" appeared directly underneath the words "Quorn" and "meat free." Because of that, we considered that the average consumer would be aware that the ad was for meat-free products and concluded that the ad was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules
Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Advertisements must not mislead consumers 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 consumers need in context to make informed decisions about whether or how to buy a product or service. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead consumers depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the advertisement is constrained by time or space, the measures that the advertiser takes to make that information available to consumers by other means. (Misleading advertising) and 3.10 3.10 Advertisements must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify. and 3.11 3.11 Qualifications must be presented clearly.
BCAP has published Guidance on Superimposed Text to help television broadcasters ensure compliance with rule 3.1 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. . The guidance is available at:
http://www.cap.org.uk/~/media/Files/CAP/Help%20notes%20new/BCAP_Advertising_Guidance_Notes_1.ashx (Qualification) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.