Is Tesco Telling Porkies?

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned this Tesco ad for its Butcher’s Choice Sausages that shows pigs generally larking about, snuffling out truffles, enjoying a beer and chillaxing.

There appears to be a moot point as to whether the pigs can be classed as ‘outdoor’ pigs or not – and while Tesco can probably justify the ad on definitions along I don’t really see how it’s in the spirit of the rules.

The ASA didn’t think Tesco had a case according to the letter or spirit of the law, however, and banned it.

“We understood that the term outdoor bred had an industry-wide, recognised meaning: that pigs were born in fields, where they were kept until weaning, and then they were moved indoors.

“We noted that in all scenes the pigs were shown to be in a spacious and free environment. In particular, we noted that the pigs were shown wandering unrestricted outside and, within the indoor barn scene, the barn door was shown to be open and the pigs’ movement unrestricted.

“In that context, we considered that consumers were likely to interpret the ad to mean that the pigs used to make the Butcher’s Choice sausages were reared in an unrestricted environment and had access to outdoor pasture.”

Naughty, naughty. Then again, what to make of this advert, which suggests that sausages magically appear in fields and don’t involve the slaughter of a fairly harmless, reasonably intelligent animal?