Iceland’s “misleading” online video advert promoting a range of bread has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Iceland has had a “misleading” online video advert promoting a range of bread banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

  • Iceland online video ad banned by ASA
  • Follows a complaint from Real Bread Campaign
  • Iceland suggested its mass-produced loaves were hand made

The watchdog has ruled the ad should not appear again following a complaint from the Real Bread Campaign.

Iceland’s advert implied that the range of mass-produced, frozen loaves were handmade.

The video featured an exterior shot of a traditional windmill, before cutting to what appeared to be a small bakery inside, where a man wearing a baker’s outfit was shown mixing, shaping and loading dough into a wood-fired brick oven.  

He then said: “Our stonebaked breads are made from the best wheat, starter dough, water, salt and an amount of yeast.”

But following an investigation, which was launched in May, the ASA said: “None of the products in the range, including the stone baked items, were produced by hand.”

It said the ad had been banned “because the depiction of the baking process, and claims surrounding it, did not accurately reflect the way in which the products were produced, and suggested they contained fewer ingredients than was the case.”

The ASA ruled the advert “must not appear again in its current form”, adding: “We told Iceland to ensure their future ads did not state or imply products were subject to fewer processes, or contained fewer ingredients, than was the case.”

Real Bread Campaign co-ordinator Chris Young said: “This ASA decision is great news for shoppers seeking an honest loaf of real bread and for the independent, local bakeries employing genuine artisan bakers who really do make fresh, additive-free loaves by hand.”

Iceland’s defence

Iceland’s representations to the ASA said that all of its stone baked bread products were “produced using a long fermentation process and stone floor ovens.”

It added that the bakery that produced its stone baked range “confirmed that no undeclared processing aids were used during manufacturing.”

Iceland said the scenes of the windmill would not have misled customers “into believing the products were produced in a windmill, because they would expect such items to be mass-produced.”

The grocer insisted that the advert “did not claim that the products were freshly baked when they were purchased, but instead made clear that the baking was carried out by the consumer.”