Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No Loafing Around--Get Out the Fresh Bread

The Advertising Standards Authority (UK) has dinged Tesco, the big grocery store chain, for claiming that its bread is "baked from scratch in our in-store bakery," when it, well, isn't. According to the Telegraph, the Real Bread Campaign went after the chain for its ads which also trumpeted that such bread was "freshly baked." It seems that "freshly baked" meant days ago.

Tesco told the ASA that

bread was baked from scratch in 504 of its in-store bakeries, predominantly in its larger stores. In 1,288 stores, Tesco said they used part-baked, or "bake-off", bread which was "finished" in the in-store bakery. Tesco explained that most of their stores had a bakery facility. "Tesco said that out of 936 supermarkets, 504 had scratch bakeries and they produced the majority of in-store bread, because they were bigger stores. They said customers would not recognise that Express stores had an in-store bakery because they only baked three or four lines of bread". Tesco believed that the small print in the ad explained what a "scratch bakery" was and made clear that those loaves were available in selected stores....

Said the agency,

ASA understood that "bake-off" loaves were baked at another site then chilled or frozen, and finally re-baked or "finished" on the premises. In contrast, "scratch bakery" loaves were prepared and baked freshly from base ingredients on site. We considered that the claim "Fresh bread. Baked from scratch in our in store bakery. Using 100% British flour. So every single loaf is genuinely British ... Born and bread" was likely to be interpreted by readers as meaning that all Tesco stores with an in-store bakery baked their loaves from scratch. We understood that most Tesco stores had a bakery facility but that only 504 stores baked bread "from scratch". Because we considered that the ad implied that all Tesco stores with a bakery facility baked bread from scratch, which was true of only a limited number of stores, we concluded the ad was likely to mislead.

ASA said the ad breach the advertising code's rule 7.1 (truthfulness). Read the entire adjudication here.

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