Four viewers of Quorn advertisements complained to the ASA that Quorn was a meat-free product but this was not made clear in the ads.
However, Marlow Foods, which owns the Quorn brand, said that its products had been on sale in the UK for more than 25 years where, according to its own survey data, Quorn has 92% brand awareness, so most consumers would be aware that it is a meat-free product.
The television ads featured a barbecue, in which a package of sausages was replaced with a package of Quorn sausages, accompanied by the on-screen text “Favourite Meals, Made Healthier”. A second ad featured the same text with a package of beef mince being replaced by a package of Quorn mince, in a scene in which a woman is preparing a meal.
The ASA said in its ruling: “The ASA acknowledged that for some consumers, whether or not a product contained meat would have a strong bearing on their decision to purchase, and that the products featured in the ad resembled meat products. However, we considered that Quorn was an established and well-known brand of vegetarian products… We considered that the average consumer would be aware that the ads were for meat-free products.”
Both advertisements referred to Quorn as a healthier alternative to meat products based on its lower saturated fat content.
The ASA concluded: “We considered that the purpose of the Quorn products featured in the ads, as the main part of a meal, meant they were alternatives to meat, and so it was valid to compare their nutritional properties to meat. …We concluded that, because it presented Quorn sausages and burgers as an alternative to meat sausages and burgers and made accurate claims about the relative quantity of saturated fat, the ads were not misleading.”