British Bakeries has lost a battle to have a major rival’s poster ad banned.

The baking giant, which owns the Hovis brand, objected to a spring poster campaign for Kingsmill bread. It showed a loaf of Kingsmill, which is baked by Allied Bakeries, on top of a sandwich box with the headline ‘The most popular Square on the box’.

British Bakeries complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that the ad was misleading because Kingsmill was not the biggest square loaf, was not the bestselling square-cut white loaf, nor was it the most advertised on television.

However, the watchdog ruled there was nothing wrong with the ad because independently audited sales figures supplied by Allied for Kingsmill Squarewhite covered a greater variety of outlets than British Bakeries’ figures for its Hovis Great White Square brand.

Allied told the ASA that, in any case, it had no plans to run the poster again.