The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has released a trio of decisions upholding complaints against two distilleries and a bread company over allegedly misleading advertisements. Ruling against Summerhall Distillery Ltd. in a complaint filed by a rival company, ASA took issue with advertisements for “hand crafted” Pickering’s Gin that touted Summerhall as Edinburgh’s first gin distillery in more than 150 years, a claim the authority found could not be substantiated.
“We considered that linking the product to the heritage of the spirit trade in Edinburgh and to imply that it was related to a revival of this industry was likely to be of particular interest to some consumers, and that its provenance in this context was therefore material information,” states ASA’s decision, which notes the presence of distillery operations within Edinburgh since 1863. “Because the claims had not been substantiated, we concluded that the ads were misleading.”
In addition, ASA sided with Alcohol Concern’s Youth Alcohol Advertising Council against Sibling Distillery Ltd., which described its eldest founder and owner as “only 23” on its website. According to the authority, “CAP Code required that ads for alcohol must not feature people under 25 years playing a significant role… Whilst we recognized that was a fact and not something that could be altered, the ad nevertheless featured people aged under 25 and we considered that because they were the owners of the business and the ad referred to their experience and background, they were playing a significant role.”
The Real Bread Campaign (Sustain) also filed a complaint against Iceland Foods Ltd.’s advertisements for its line of frozen bread products, challenging the phrases “artisan” and “freshly baked” as well as a display of ingredients that did not include additives. In its adjudication, ASA partly upheld the complaints in relation to Iceland Foods’ online video advertisement, which appeared to show a baker working inside a windmill to prepare bread dough by hand and bake it in a brick oven. Arguing that consumers would likely believe “the products in question were instead produced by hand, before being sold for home freezing and baking,” the authority found misleading the video’s depiction of the baking process and its suggestion that all products contained only a few select ingredients.
“We considered the claim ‘our stone baked bread is made from the best wheat, sourdough, water, salt and an amount of yeast,’ particularly in the context of the depiction of the baking process , which we considered suggested the bread was handmade, was likely to be understood to mean the stone baked products included only the ingredients referred to,” the ruling reiterates. “However, we understood the stone baked range included additional ingredients, such as dextrose, wheat gluten and vegetable oil. Because it suggested the stone baked bread range included fewer ingredients than was the case, we concluded that [the online video] was misleading.”