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Plant-based brand Meatless Farm has been ordered to remove two adverts following meat industry complaints.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) called on the company to remove the ads because they allegedly breached rules about health assertions.
This was because they advocated a vegan lifestyle, speaking of the benefits of adopting plant-based eating.
Meatless Farm forced to remove ads
Posted on Facebook, the ads contained claims that plant-based diets improve mental and physical health, and make you “stronger.”
They featured a firefighter and nurse.
Additionally, one included text that read it was “no longer a secret that a plant-based diet has a positive influence on your wellbeing.”
Stirring the complaints was the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), which is funded by British farmers.
According to Farming UK, the organization sought to “challenge misinformation,” and encourage a “level playing field” within advertising.
Head of media at AHDB is Phil Maiden. They told the outlet: “Advertising rules are there to ensure fairness and transparency for consumers. In which, AHDB takes an enormous amount of time and effort to ensure compliance.”
A spokesperson for ASA reportedly revealed: “Our rules state that claims which refer to the general benefits of a nutrient or food for overall good health or health-related wellbeing are only acceptable if accompanied by a relevant authorized health claim,” The Grocer reports.
But Meatless Farm maintains it is part of the organization’s “ongoing campaign” against alternative protein.
Moreover, the nurse featured in the ad is a “real nurse” and was sharing her own positive experience on a plant-based diet.
A company spokesperson told PBN: “Our quest at Meatless Farm is to make it easier and tastier for people to reduce their meat consumption for the demonstrable benefits of the planet and their health, so we will continue to share all of the inspiring evidence and information that supports that ambition.”
Additionally, claims made in the ad were based on a recently published scientific study. This was about how plant-based foods positively improve the gut microbiome.
And, while the farming organization celebrated the removal as a win, Meatless Farm claims the ad had in fact finished its run before the complaint was made.