ASA Food Advertising

Birds Eye ad pulled by ASA for bulking up portion sizes


By Jessica Goodfellow, Media Reporter

June 1, 2016 | 2 min read

The ASA has spiked an ad from Birds Eye for exaggerating the size of its ready meals by showing bulked up portions of its products.

Birds Eye

The TV campaign for Birds Eye’s Stir Your Sense ready-made meals range shows a couple cooking one of the pasta products, with only one pack shown.

A complaint was made to the Advertising Standards Authority for misleading consumers since the ad insinuated one pack can serve two people, when in reality the meals are single-serve.

Birds Eye said that because the ad showed a couple in the kitchen, consumers would expect more than one pack to be used, despite just one single-serve packet shown in frame.

Later the woman in seeing eating one of the products from a bowl, which the company said contained one portion of the product. However, it admitted to using "slightly more" for the pan shots to "bring life to the ingredients" and to "reflect the two person occasion dramatised in the opening scene".

After product testing, the ASA noted that shots of the product exaggerated the portion size and was therefore misleading, since consumers were likely to expect the amounts shown in the ad to be equivalent to one packet of the product, which was not always the case.

“We considered that both the pan and bowl shots in the ad appeared to contain more pasta and mushrooms when compared to one real-life serving,” said the ASA.

The ASA ruled the TV ad must not be shown again in its current form, and told Nomad Foods Europe, the parent company of Birds Eye, not to exaggerate the portion sizes of its products in future ad campaigns.

ASA Food Advertising

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