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Warburtons advert banned over inaccurate claims

Warburtons advert banned over inaccurate claims

UK bread manufacturing business Warburtons has been forced to withdraw an advertising campaign due to the fact it contained inaccurate claims.

The advert, which was featured in numerous national publications, stated that the bread business was "now London's biggest bakers". Fellow manufacturers Premier Foods and Allied Bakeries challenged this statement with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to see whether or not it was correct.

When questioned what it was basing the claim on, the Bolton-based business said it had used market research figures from May 2013 that showed Warburtons had held the biggest share in the baked goods market over the preceding 12 months. 

However, statistics from fellow British bread manufacturer Hovis contradicted this data.

To reach the conclusion that Warburtons was the biggest baker in the capital, market researchers had assessed sales from grocery multiples - major retailers such as supermarkets - and impulse channels, a term that refers to independent retailers and smaller businesses.

An investigation by the ASA found that no data from impulse channels was accounted for in the claim.

Fresh bread sales were also left out - just those of wrapped bakery goods were counted - even though they would have increased grocery multiples figures.

The use of the term 'bakers' was deemed to be misleading as well, as the word has connotations of freshly prepared produce, which Warburtons does not offer.

Other versions of the advert had included verification of the claim, but the banned one had not, which led the ASA to decide that Warburtons had breached criteria relating to misleading advertising, qualification, substantiation and comparisons. Therefore it was ruled that the advert in question would have to be subsequently withdrawn.

In a statement, the ASA said: "We considered that consumers had not been provided with sufficient information to understand the basis of comparison and we therefore concluded that the claim was misleading."

Warburtons have been warned by the ASA that in future, all claims must be 100 per cent accurate and will need to be verified in each advert.


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