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Tesco sausage ad given the chop

Watchdog rules commercial misleadingly implied that meat came from free-range pigs

The television advert for Tesco’s Butcher’s Choice sausages showed an idyllic country scene as pigs wandered freely around a field as the farmer went about his harvest.

But the advertising watchdog has banned the supermarket giant from repeating the commercial, saying it misleadingly implied that the meat used for the sausages came from free-range pigs. Four people complained about the advert after it aired in May this year.

Tesco said it did not believe it was misleading, adding that the pigs had been reared to world-class nationally-agreed welfare standards.

The supermarket giant said the ad, which was filmed on a farm that is a supplier, showed pigs both outdoors and indoors.

But the Advertising Standards Authority said in “all [the] scenes the pigs were shown to be in a spacious and free environment”.

“The pigs were shown wandering unrestricted outside and, within the indoor barn scene, the barn door was shown to be open and the pigs’ movement unrestricted,” the regulator added.

The ASA said viewers were “likely to interpret the ad to mean that the pigs … were reared in an unrestricted environment and had access to outdoor pasture”. “Since we understood that was not the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”

Tesco said the farm featured in the ad supplied meat from pigs which were born outdoors and reared indoors.

The ASA said the ad breached advertising regulations and must not be repeated again in its current form.

A Tesco spokesman said: “The farmer featured in the ad is a genuine Tesco supplier and shows the environment in which the pigs are reared. We accept the ruling and the ads will no longer appear on screens.”

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