Unilever has been rapped over the knuckles for an ad which claimed that its Knorr Vie soup brand would provide consumers with “up to three of the five daily portions of vegetables you need”.

Parental pressure group - The Food Commission - said the Department of Health’s 5-a-day guidelines apply to fresh, frozen and canned fruit and vegetables and not to processed or composite foods, such as Knorr Vie. And attacked Unilever for “misleading advertising”.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority said that processed foods could contribute towards the government’s 5-a-day target.

But the ASA did agree with the FC that although the soup was low in sugar and fat, it contained 4.5g of salt - 90% of the recommended maximum daily intake of salt for a woman and nearly 65% of that for a man.

Unilever said they had not intended to mislead consumers and that the advertisement - for a trade magazine - was only intended for a single appearance.