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ASA bans Watirose's pork ads

Ads were misleading because they implied that Waitrose pigs "spent the duration of their lives outdo

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned Waitrose's TV ad campaign, starring chefs Heston Blumenthal and Delia Smith, for making misleading claims about the welfare of pigs reared for Waitrose pork.

One of the TV commercials shows Blumenthal talking about the best-tasting pork coming from "outdoor bred" British pigs and then a farmer is shown feeding some pigs in a field. Blumenthal later refers to the pork as "essential Waitrose pork".

In another ad, Blumenthal is shown discussing pigs' living conditions with farmer Phil Ellis and talking about the secrets behind producing the 'best tasting pork'.

However, the ASA received five complaints that the ads were misleading because they implied that Waitrose pigs "spent the duration of their lives outdoors". But in reality they were reared indoors "in confined conditions after a few weeks".

Waitrose defended the term "outdoor bred" saying it was a standard term that had become widely used in recent years to mean pigs born in fields and then moved indoors "into light and airy sheds with straw".

The ASA upheld the complaints saying the term may be commonly understood within the pig farming industry but not among average viewers.