The local press ad, published on November 30 2016, included text that stated: “Good for the land”, with smaller text underneath saying “Helping support a more sustainable future”.
A complainant, who believed dairy farming was not good for the land, challenged whether the above claim was misleading.
Arla Foods said that the advert referred to an organic product and organic farming methods, which were sustainable and took care of the land.
The ethos of organic farming
Arla said the advert’s claims were in keeping with the ethos of organic farming. The dairy processor provided the Soil Association’s organic standards document in support of its claim.
Arla also said it prioritised environment management and sustainability across its business. The impact on the environment was considered in every step of the production process, it claimed.
The ASA considered that consumers would interpret the claim “Good for the land … helping to support a more sustainable future” to mean that the production of the advertised organic farm milk had an overall positive impact on the environment, taking into account its full life cycle.
The watchdog ruled: “We acknowledged that Arla had provided evidence regarding the organic farming methods used and that they believed this was more sustainable than non-organic farming.
‘The claim was misleading’
“However, we did not consider they had substantiated that organic milk production had an overall positive impact on the environment, taking into account its full life cycle. We therefore concluded that the claim was misleading.”
The regulatory body ruled that the advertisement had breached the Committees of Advertising Practice codes for misleading advertising, substantiation and environmental claims.
The ASA ruled that the advertisement must not appear again in its current form. Arla was warned not to make environmental claims about its products unless it offered evidence to back its claims.
Meanwhile, earlier this year the ASA banned three advertisements from vodka producer Pure Milk Vodka, for promoting excessive drinking and linking alcohol to sex.