Ad regulator has said that research did not back up gravy claims
by Katy Murcutt - Paraglegal
02 June 2011, filed under Consumer
Recent ads which advertised Knorr gravy granules stating that they were 'totally unbeatable' have been found to be misleading and lacked important proof to back up their claims, the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) have ruled.
The adverts, which had been promoting the Knorr gravy granules, had the information which claimed that it was ‘unbeatable taste vs Bisto’. The ads also contained further promotion saying that Knorr’s gravy had found ‘unbeatable scores for aroma, consistency, appearance and taste’ in recent testing, the Advertising Standards Authority had said. One of the advertisments even stated that Knorr gravy had ‘unbeatable scores’ over their “main rivals”, the ASA claimed.
Random blind taste tests of various gravy products carried out with a variety of different chefs had in fact discovered that most of the chefs actually preferred an anonymous third gravy product over both Bisto and Knorr, the ruling had said. The chefs in question had been asked exactly what factors had influenced their decision, but were not requested to list the factors in importance, the ruling stated.
The premier Foods Group, who own the brand of Bisto, successfully put their argument forward stating that the comparisons made in these advertisments had been totally misleading, and there was no way these claims could be proved.
The ruling concerned two adverts in print which had been published in food magazines. They had breached the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Direct Marketing (CAP Code) and Sales Promotion. The CAP Code is a strict set of rules that companies and organisations must volunteer to follow in order to meet the direct requirements of European Laws, which also includes the EU Comparitive Advertising Directive.
Unilever who own the Knorr brand, has been told to change the ads before they can be republished, the Advertising Standards Authority had stated. In their current form the adverts did not inform the customers accurately of the findings of the survey of the attitude of chefs to its product, the ASA had stated.
The Advertising Standards Authority did not uphold a third complaint from premier Foods, where they had argued that the ads reference to ‘Bisto’ was misleading as it was a wider brand not just specific to gravy, the ruling had said.
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