Tesco rapped for exaggerating pigs' quality of life

Tesco has been rapped by the ad watchdog for implying its Butcher's Choice sausages are made from pigs reared in an unrestricted environment.

Viewers complained about the television ad that featured pigs roaming in a field, frolicking in a hay barn and walking with a farmer down a lane, by The Red Brick Road.

The complaints said the ad did not properly convey that the meat in Tesco sausages is from pigs reared indoors as well as outdoors.

Tesco argued that its sausage meat came from both indoor and outdoor-reared animals, farmed to Red Tractor standards, which seek to deliver world-class standards of husbandry to nationally agreed levels.

The farm used in the ad supplies Tesco with Butcher's Choice sausages and meat from pigs born outdoors and reared indoors.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) observed that in all scenes the pigs were filmed in a spacious and free environment.

It noted in particular the indoor barn scene which featured an open barn door and pigs that appeared to be unrestricted.

Taken in context, the ASA decided to ban the ad for being misleading because it was likely viewers would interpret the ad to mean pigs used in Butcher’s Choice sausages were reared in an unrestricted environment with access to outdoor pasture.