The watchdog banned the ads of a meatless food business that claim a plant-based diet can make you stronger

  • Meatless Farm Company launched a social media campaign that was banned
  • Adverts claim that eating a plant-based diet will make you more mentally and physically strong
  • The newspaper cited the cases of a nurse, and firefighter, who apparently had their lives transformed.
  • ASA notified Meatless Farm that the ads violated its rules, and they were asked to stop using them

Adverts It has been forbidden to claim that eating a plant-based diet will make you physically and mentally stronger.

The Meatless Farm Company promoted the campaign via social media on October. It claimed that their products will ‘unleash you beast within’.

Two people whose lives have been allegedly transformed by the service were a 42-year old nurse and a 52 year-old firefighter.

The Advertising Standards Authority was contacted by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (a quango that answers to the Department of the Environment) to complain about the ads’ inability to comply with the industry codes. 

The Meatless Farm Company's promotional campaign on social media, which claimed its products would 'unleash your beast within', has been banned

Meatless Farm Company’s social media campaign claiming that their products will ‘unleash you beast within’ has been stopped

According to the board, the claims of the Meatless Farm Company had to be supported or approved by a medical charity, national nutritional or health organization.

The ASA reviewed the complaint and agreed with Meatless Farm that the ads violated its rules. They asked Meatless Farm not to use the advertisements and to remove them from circulation.

One Facebook ad for Meatless Farm Products featured the following claim: “Stronger both mentally and physically, he attributes his excellent health to his plant-based diet.”

It was also stated that Anne’s increased energy has allowed her to improve both her mental and her physical health. 

“It’s no secret that eating a plant-based diet can have a positive impact on your health and well-being,” said Dr. Michael A. Cohen. 

According to the ASA, claims that a nutrient/food has general health benefits or is good for health (or ‘general health claims’) can only be accepted if they are accompanied with a valid authorised claim.

Earlier this year, the ASA contacted Oatly over a campaign that claimed 'global livestock emit more greenhouse gas emissions than all transport'. Oatly subsequently corrected the claim

Oatly was contacted earlier in the year by the ASA over a campaign that suggested global livestock emissions were more harmful than transport. Oatly later corrected the claims

Oatly was approached by the Oatly development board in response to a campaign that stated global livestock emits more greenhouse gases than all transportation combined. Oatly later corrected this claim.

Phil Maiden (media chief at the board), stated: “Advertising rules exist to assure fairness and transparency for consumers. AHDB invests a tremendous amount of time and effort in ensuring compliance with these rules.”

When it launched an advertisement in favor of milk and meat in January, the board was confronted with 487 complaints. 

Advertisements urged consumers to “eat balanced” and stated that red meat and milk are good sources of protein and B12. The B12 supplement helps to reduce fatigue and tiredness. 

‘Protein helps maintain normal bones. 

The ASA declined to accept the complaints.

Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance: “The decision to plant-based or not is personal. However, the companies that promote it must follow the rules and tell the truth about the product. 

“Fictional advantages seem to be a frequent theme in marketing of meat substitutes.”