Tesco vegan burger adverts banned over ‘misleading’ environmental claims

Tesco’s advertising of its vegan ‘Plant Chef’ burgers has been banned after Tesco was accused of making ‘misleading’ claims by claiming they are better for the environment than their meat equivalents.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said Tesco had indicated that buying Plant Chef burgers would have a “positive impact on the environment” by suggesting customers could “do their bit” for the environment by buying on Switch to plant-based burgers.

In the ad, an voiceover said, “We’ve reduced the price of dozens of our Plant Chef products because a small trade-in can make a difference for the planet.”

The ASA said: “We expected to see evidence that this is the case based on the full life cycle of the Plant Chef burger versus a meat burger.

“However, we understand that Tesco had no evidence regarding the full life cycle of any of the products in the Plant Chef range or the burger featured in the ads.”

It concluded that the “claims regarding their positive benefits for the planet have not been substantiated and are likely to be misleading”.

More than 171 complaints have been filed with the ASA over the ads that ran on TV, radio, Twitter and newspapers last fall.

It comes as supermarkets look to devote more shelf space to plant-based alternatives amid a broader shift towards less meat in the UK. The Climate Change Committee, which advises government policy, has urged people to reduce their meat consumption by 20 percent by 2030 to help reduce agricultural emissions.

However, the UK’s top adviser on combating global warming has criticized “sham arguments” made by vegans about climate change and meat.

Lord Deben, chair of the Climate Change Committee, said it was wrong to say eating meat is not environmentally friendly, giving an example that grass-grazing livestock could improve the way the soil stores carbon.

He said: “It’s just not true that we should have a world without farm animals. They are essential to the mixed farming system to return the vitality of the soil.”

Lord Deben said the world would not have “the healthy soil we need” if everyone went vegan.

A Tesco spokesman said the supermarket was “disappointed” with the result.

They said, “We are committed to making it easy and affordable for our customers to incorporate plant-based meat alternatives into their diets and recipes.” Tesco vegan burger adverts banned over ‘misleading’ environmental claims

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