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UK: ASA bans Del Monte advert after PepsiCo juice complaint

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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled against an advertisement by Del Monte in the UK, following a complaint made by PepsiCo's unit in the country.

Earlier this month, Del Monte launched a television advert featuring a taste test scenario on the company's orange juice. An on-screen message stated: "54% of 144 respondents, non-chilled juice verify at thedelmonteblog.com", while a voice-over said: "Discover Del Monte juice. Now on offer at participating stores. Del Monte. Say yes to the best."

The final scene featured six cartons of different flavoured Del Monte juices, including orange juice.

PepsiCo UK and Ireland subsequently complained to the ASA, arguing that the advert was misleading because it was unclear whether the taste test was carried out on orange juice only, or the entire fruit juice range.

The company added that the claim, "in a recent test the majority of people preferred the taste of Del Monte to the leading juice brand", was also misleading, because it implied that Del Monte had been compared to the overall leading juice brand rather than the leading non-chilled juice brand.

Del Monte countered that the taste test clearly showed people drinking orange juice only, and that no other beverage was shown throughout the footage. The company added that it did "not accept that the ad implied Del Monte was preferred to the overall leading juice brand" because the claim was qualified by on-screen text.

The advertising watchdog however, ruled today (21 September) that the images of participants drinking orange-coloured juice "did not make it sufficiently clear to viewers that it was orange juice being compared". It added that this was compounded by the lack of references to orange juice in the voice-over and on-screen text, as well as the end frame, which featured a selection of Del Monte juices.

In addition, the ASA said that, because the on-screen text was not "sufficiently clear in its meaning and its presentation", viewers could have been misled into thinking Del Monte juice had been compared to the overall leading juice brand rather than the leading non-chilled juice brand.

As a result, the ASA said the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.

To read the official ruling, click here.


Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: PepsiCo

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