The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that a pro-vegan advert is not misleading consumers, despite receiving several complaints.
The vegan advert appeared in a national newspaper in February as part of campaign group Go Vegan World — who raise awareness about the conditions of the animal agriculture industries. The ad included an image of a dairy cow behind barbed wire, with the hashtag “#ditchdairy” and large text stating: “Humane milk is a myth. Don’t buy it.”
The ASA received seven complaints regarding the vegan advert, which featured in the Sunday Telegraph, with complainants feeling the advert implied that the dairy industry breaches animal welfare regulations. Some of the complainants had links to the dairy industry.
Confirming that the advert did not in fact mislead readers, the ASA stated: “We understood that Defra recommended that calves should be kept with their mothers for at least 12 and preferably 24 hours after birth.”
“Although the language used to express the claims was emotional and hard-hitting, we understood it was the case that calves were generally separated from their mothers very soon after birth, and we therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to materially mislead readers.”
National Farmers’ Union chairman Michael Oakes said that he felt let down by the decision from the ASA, stating that members of the NFU “found it upsetting and demoralising.”
Commenting on the controversy surrounding the vegan advert, a statement from Go Vegan World explained: “It must be noted that some involved in the dairy industry have attempted to have the ad withdrawn, thereby preventing people from learning the truth. If they think the industry they are involved in is fair or humane, why do they try to silence us?”
The NFU will now appeal the decision from the ASA in the hope that the vegan advert will not be allowed to relaunch.
Picture credit: Go Vegan World