The advertisement stated:
“Same Great Taste, Same Great Value…
Fresh New Look!
With wonderful flavour across our Inismara range, you can enjoy bigger value for all your fish dishes with Lidl!
The Inismara fish on offer included:
“… Fresh Hake Fillets. Fresh Hake Fillets with Bombay Curry Sauce. Fresh Cod Fillets. Fresh Cod Fillets with Pepper & Wild Garlic. Fresh Breaded Cod Fillets. Fresh Cod Fillets with Lemon & Herb Sauce.”
The complainants, Nicholas Lynch Limited, said the Hake advertised was from Namibia and the Cod from the Barents Sea. They said both products had been frozen and defrosted, yet the leaflet had advertised them both as being ‘fresh’. They said it was their understanding that if a product had been defrosted that this factor should be referenced. The complainants considered the advertising to be misleading.
The advertisers said that while the labelling attached to the products had indicated that they were defrosted, they had included the word ‘fresh’ in their advertising as it was their understanding that it was permissible to do so. When it was brought to their attention that their fish products should not be advertised as ‘fresh’ if they had been defrosted they had taken the necessary steps to remove the word ‘fresh’ from their defrosted fish products. They said they were confident that they currently had no advertising which referred to defrosted fish products as ‘fresh’.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the advertising had been amended to remove the description ‘fresh’. They considered, however, that as the products had been frozen and defrosted the description ‘fresh’ was likely to mislead and to be in breach of Sections 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.
As the advertising had been amended no further action was required.