The English authorities (AHDB) have forced The Meatless Farm Company, a company that produces plant-based products that mimic meat, to withdraw its social media advertising campaign for making claims that cannot be backed up by scientific evidence. The campaign claimed, for example, that “using plant-based products boosted the energy, mental and physical health” of two of the campaign’s protagonists.
AHDB filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), requesting that relevant documentation be provided for these claims as it believed that the advertisements did not comply with the advertising codes.
In particular, these regulations specify that health claims must be endorsed by a national medical or nutritional body, or a health charity.
After finding that this was not the case with the company’s products, the ASA agreed that the advertisements were in breach of the advertising rules and asked Meatless Farm to stop using them and to remove those still in use.
Calling a product meat or dairy when it is not, giving it attributes it does not have, and making claims about supposed nutritional properties just to attract buyers, is contrary to good practice, as well as being deeply unfair to the consumer who trusts and chooses them.
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