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ASA Tesco Horse Meat

Fresh horse meat travails for Tesco as ASA bans its apology


By John Glenday, Reporter

September 5, 2013 | 2 min read

A double page national press ad for Tesco devised by Wieden & Kennedy has been banned by the Advertising Standards Agency for misleading readers into believing there were issues with meat standards across the entire food industry.

The contentious spread read: “What burgers have taught us. The problem we've had with some of our meat lately is about more than burgers and bolognese. It's about some of the ways we get meat to your dinner table. It's about the whole food industry. And it has made us realise, we really do need to make it better.

“We've been working on it, but we need to keep going, go further, move quicker. We know that our supply chain is too complicated. So we're making it simpler ... Seriously. This is it. We are changing."

In their response Tesco accepted that not everyone in the food industry had been implicated in the mislabelling of horse meat but claimed the ad should be interpreted as focussing solely on Tesco.

The retailer added that no reference had been made to any other producer, retailer or supplier and they had not attempted to shift any blame.

Nonetheless the ASA ruled: “We considered that despite the use of words such as "we" and "our" in the preceding sentences, the ad made a definitive statement, "It's about the whole food industry". We considered that the omission of "we" or "our" from that sentence made it stand out from the surrounding text and informed readers' understanding of the rest of the ad.

“Therefore, we concluded consumers would understand the ad referenced all food retailers and suppliers, rather than Tesco alone.”

The ad must not appear again in its current form.

ASA Tesco Horse Meat

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