AHDB has announced the return of its We Eat Balanced campaign on meat and dairy products after complaints about animal welfare and pro-vegan groups were dismissed by the UK’s advertising watchdog .
Relaunched yesterday (September 6), the Levy Board said its marketing campaign would once again emphasize that beef, pork, lamb and milk contain vitamin B12 – a nutrient it says doesn’t was “not naturally present in a vegan diet”.
The push would also highlight the sustainability and standards of UK meat and dairy products, AHDB said.
These messages would be displayed on supermarket shelves and aisle flaps, through online ads with MailOnline and full-page ads in the Guardian, as well as through social media.
Online and social content would include short videos of farmers “telling the story of British farming,” the AHDB added.
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“After a successful pilot project earlier this year, I am delighted that our We Eat Balanced [has returned] to further reassure consumers about the food choices they appreciate as part of a healthy and balanced diet, ”said Paul Flanagan, director of dairy strategy at AHDB.
He urged supporters to “spread the message on social media where you can”.
Revealing an independent analysis of the results of its initial £ 1.5million campaign, which ran over seven weeks in January and February 2021, the AHDB said its marketing activity was broadcast 80 million times on social networks, reaching 10 million consumers.
It has also been seen by six million people in the press and has been viewed 2.5 million times on VOD services.
It comes weeks after the Advertising Standards Authority dismissed 487 complaints about the previous iteration of AHDB’s campaign, which saw objections from organizations such as Compassion in World Farming UK and pro-vegan groups, including the Humane League UK, The Vegan Society, Peta and Viva.
The plaintiffs accused the ads of being misleading in three ways, according to the ASA’s ruling.
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They argued that the advertisements “implied” that meat and dairy products were a necessity for eating a healthy and balanced diet, consuming vitamin B12 and also that cattle used for meat in the UK were generally grazed at outdoors and had minimal environmental impact – things the complainants argued was not true.
However, the ASA referred to the use by the AHDB of qualifying statements to “promote a varied diet and clarify that the consumption of meat and dairy products is not required” because it ruled that complaints would not be upheld.
“We understood that meat and dairy products contained sufficient amounts of vitamin B12 and protein for nutrition and health claims included in advertisements to be permitted,” the ASA ruling said.
“Overall, we considered that the advertisements would be understood by consumers to mean that essential nutrients needed by humans could be obtained from meat and dairy products as part of a healthy and balanced diet.” , added the ASA. The campaign “did not give the misleading impression that meat and dairy products were necessary for a healthy and balanced diet,” he added.
At the time, Christine Watts, AHDB’s communications and market development manager, said it was an “important day” for UK agriculture “because we can continue to communicate the benefits. consumption of red meat and dairy products as part of a balanced diet “.