Tesco has been forced to withdraw a sausages advert after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled it was misleading.
The TV advert for the supermarket’s Butcher’s Choice Sausages apparently depicted a bucolic scene with pigs wandering happily around a field while a farmer harvested his crop.
The Advertising Watchdog ruled that the ad misled consumers by implying that the pork for the sausages came from free-range pigs when in fact the squealers were bred both indoors and outdoors, which included restricted movement.
Tesco argued that they did not think the advert was misleading and claimed the farmer in the advert was the real deal.
"We're a bit baffled by this ruling, ” a Tesco spokesperson said.
"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."
But the ASA disagreed saying: in "all [the] scenes the pigs were shown to be in a spacious and free environment".
"The pigs were shown wandering unrestricted outside and, within the indoor barn scene, the barn door was shown to be open and the pigs' movement unrestricted,"
and that viewers were "likely to interpret the ad to mean that the pigs … were reared in an unrestricted environment and had access to outdoor pasture".
"Since we understood that was not the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading."
Tesco has reportedly accepted the ruling.