An ad featuring a Quorn product that reduces a consumer’s carbon footprint has been deemed misleading by the advertising watchdog.
The TV commercial aired in April 2020 claimed that Quorn Thai Wondergrains “is helping us reduce our carbon footprint” and that consumers who “care about climate change” are “taking a step in the right direction ” should.
About 32 complaints challenged the ad’s claims, and a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that Marlow Foods, which owns Quorn, did not make it clear how the alleged carbon footprint reduction was being measured.
It meant that “viewers would not know what this reduction was based on,” the ASA said.
Marlow Foods claimed the Thai Wondergrains product has been certified by the Carbon Trust, which helps companies become more sustainable.
The product has been awarded the Carbon Reduction Footprint Certificate, which means it has reduced emissions year over year, and it has joined the Carbon Footprint Protocol with a commitment to further reduce emissions from the product.
According to Marlow Foods, Quorn Pieces, a key ingredient in their product, had a “carbon footprint” at the factory gate that was lower than that of chickens emitting 5.9 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per kg.
However, since the advertising did not clarify the basis of the company’s claims, the ASA concluded that its message was likely to mislead consumers.
In its decision, the watchdog called on Marlow Foods to ensure that its environmental claims were made clear and not “misleading by leaving out essential information in their ads”.