In response to a Real Bread Campaign complaint, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently ruled that Pret A Manger advertising products as ‘natural’ is misleading. Publishing the findings of its 16-month investigation, the ASA said that “because ads stated Pret A Manger’s food was ‘natural’ when some products contained artificial additives, the claims were misleading and breached the rules”.
Imposing a ban, the ASA added: “We told Pret A Manger to ensure their ads did not claim or imply that their food was ‘natural’, unless their products and ingredients were in line with consumer expectations of the term ‘natural’.”
Real Bread Campaign co-ordinator Chris Young, who submitted the complaint in December 2016, commented: “We welcome this ban, which sets a precedent that sends a clear message to food companies that unless they walk the natural food walk, it’s misleading to talk the natural food talk. This ruling is good for shoppers whom the ASA is there to protect, and for the small, independent bakery and eatery owner who serve genuinely all-natural Real Bread sandwiches.
“We look forward to seeing Pret removing all misleading claims from its advertising, but would prefer to see the company to kick out all artificial additives they use and give their customers the chance to enjoy sandwiches, baguettes and wraps made from Real Bread.”