RBC reacts angrily to ASA brush-off

The Real Bread Campaign (RBC) has slammed the Advertising Standards Authority  (ASA) “for failing to protect shoppers from potentially misleading ‘sourdough’ loaf adverts.”

The news follows hot on the heels of last week’s difference of opinion over The UK Baking Industry Code of Practice for the Labelling of Sourdough Bread & Rolls.

This week, the ASA, which is the UK advertising watchdog, rejected complaints submitted by the RBC regarding three “industrial” loaf products promoted using the word ‘sourdough’.

In one case, the advertiser used the phrase ‘slowly fermented for 72 hours’

Despite the use of baker’s yeast and additives in the products, the ASA rejected all three complaints on the following grounds:

·         The ASA’s opinion that shoppers are likely to understand that the advertisers don’t make genuine sourdough.

·         An absence of a legal definition of sourdough.

RBC coordinator Chris Young said: “The ASA is supposed to protect us from misleading advertising. Instead, it seems to have shrugged and said ‘everyone knows that manufacturers like that don’t make genuine sourdough, so how can these adverts mislead anyone?’”

He added: “If you see the word butter on a pack or advert, you’re legally protected from getting it home and finding it was made with vegetable oil. You can’t advertise squash as fruit juice. We believe that you should have the same protection from finding that a product named or advertised using the word sourdough has been made with baker’s yeast or additives.”