ASA slams Morrisons ad

LONDON - The Advertising Standards Authority has ordered changes to a TV ad for supermarket chain Morrisons after it attracted complaints from fellow grocery stores.

The ad stars Denise van Outen as she parachutes into a farm. A voiceover states: "Only one major supermarket sources and packs fruit and vegetables straight from British farms."

The Co-op, Waitrose and Asda all complained to the ASA and challenged whether Morrisons could support its claim that it was the only major supermarket to source and pack fruit and vegetables from British farms.

The ASA and a member of the public challenged whether the claim that the same people looked after the produce through harvesting and transportation was true.

Morrisons provided details of its process for sourcing fruit and vegetables, and explained that 85 per cent of all British fruit and vegetables it sold was picked by the farmer who then transported it to a Morrisons packing house.

Morrisons acknowledged that while other supermarkets also claimed to sell produce that had been sourced and packed directly from British farms, it was the only major supermarket to do so without using a third party.

The ads did not state explicitly that "all" of Morrisons’ British produce was sourced, packed and delivered without the use of a third-party operator.

However, the ASA felt that the reinforced claims that Morrisons was the only major supermarket to source and pack fruit and vegetables straight from British farms, could give viewers the impression that it sources, packs and delivers all of its own produce. As this is not the case, the regulator concluded that the ads were misleading.

The ASA has instructed Morrisons to amend the voiceover used in the ad in order to clarify this point in all future broadcasting.

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