ASA throws out complaints over Morrisons Christmas TV ads
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled in favour of supermarket chain Morrisons after complaints were received against two of its TV advertisements.
The adjudications concerned two Morrisons adverts, both of which received complaints about misleading claims from members of the public.
One of the adverts, which featured a small boy surreptitiously feeding the family’s pet dog a slice of Christmas pudding from the table, received 234 complaints, including from some vets, on the grounds that it might encourage children to do similar.
Complainants said that this might cause harm to dogs as Christmas pudding can contain ingredients which are lethal to canines.
However Morrisons responded to the claims by pointing out that it had received advice from animal health experts before shooting the advert, including a vet and former president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons who was present during filming.
The ASA did not uphold the complaints stating that while there is some evidence to suggest that some of the ingredients, namely raisins and grapes, can be harmful to canines, this was only in the case of 500g to 1kg of the raw fruits being eaten by dogs.
It also emphasised that the message of the advert was that the boy should not have been feeding the Christmas pudding to the dog, which itself refuses to eat the food and was only doing so because he did not like it.
This is reinforced by a voiceover stating ‘Not everyone loves traditional Christmas pud’.
Another adjudication involving Morrisons was called for after seven complaints were received against an advert in which a woman ‘disappears’ into a tin of Quality Street chocolates.
The complaints were made by viewers who claimed that the ad was misleading about the size of the Quality Street tin on sale.
The ASA agreed with Morrisons which said that the advert was clearly meant to be “pure fantasy”, saying in its adjudication that “the scene where the actor disappeared into the tin was unlikely to be viewed as a realistic situation”.