A radio advertisement for Love Irish Food titled ‘Heart and Sole’ stated:
“MVO: Ask any Love Irish Food producer why they do what they do and you're likely to hear...
FVO: Well, it must be love, mustn't it? Love of the local produce and the amazing things you can do with it. Because that's what you need - to grow an Irish food brand we can all be proud of.
MVO: Locally produced food brands using local ingredients to give you better taste. That's what Love Irish Food is all about. And that's something worth celebrating. Look for the Love Irish Food logo when you shop and check our Love Irish Food website for the stories behind the brands.”
The complainant considered that the advertisement was misleading as not all products bearing the Love Irish Food logo included ingredients that were locally produced. The complainant purchased a salmon product that bore the ‘Love Irish Food’ logo and stated on the label that it was ‘Quality Irish Seafood’ and ‘Produced in Wexford’, however, when reading the small print on the label he noted that the salmon had been sourced in Scotland. On making enquiries with Love Irish Food he was advised that as it was not always possible to source Irish ingredients, their terms and conditions allowed a producer to source ingredients from a foreign source when Irish ingredients were not available. The complainant said that the understanding from the advertisement was that only Irish locally sourced ingredients were allowed for products that bore the Love Irish Food logo and as there was no indication that such products could include ingredients from other countries, he considered the advertising misleading.
In reply the advertiser stated that the advertisement was made for the Love Irish Food brand and not for the salmon product referred to by the complainant. They said that the advertisement was a non-specific, general communication about Love Irish Food and they referenced their website, asking listeners to check out their website for stories behind the brands. They said that their website includes the explanation that there are exceptions on local availability due to various factors, including seasonable availability. They said that their advertisement was not about local ingredients, but rather was about the effort of the local producers. They said that if they had made an advertisement about ingredients they would have been mindful so as not to mislead, and likewise, if they were making an advertisement for salmon or the producer of the product, they would have been mindful as to the origin of the ingredients. They said that they did not say or suggest in the advertisement that only Irish locally produced ingredients are included in Love Irish Food bearing products on the basis that some ingredients were not locally available due to, for example, climatic conditions.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the advertisers’ website had included details of the exceptions to locally sourced products by producers of Love Irish Food branded products. They considered, however, the claim “using local ingredients” without qualification was likely to mislead and the advertising was therefore in breach of Sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.
The advertisement should not appear in its current form again.