There were two radio advertisements in this campaign. The first featured a mother, a shopkeeper and a farmer.
“Mother: We want the best for our families - that means
giving them fresh Irish milk.
Shopkeeper: Well my customers expect the best. That’s why I only
sell milk with the NDC Guarantee.
Farmer: It says that the milk is farmed and produced
here in the Republic of Ireland…
Shopkeeper: …that it’s good for the economy
Mother: …and good for my family
MVO: Only buy milk with the NDC Guarantee.”
The second advertisement featured a farmer (Michael) speaking proudly about his land and the milk produced from it to a shopkeeper (Niamh).
“Michael: Lush, green pastures... fresh, clean air.
All around here… this is excellent dairy land
And we’re proud that the milk we produce
carries the NDC Guarantee.
Niamh: I only sell milk with the NDC Guarantee…
…that’s what my customers want.
Michael: When you buy milk with the guarantee, you’re buying milk you can trust.
Quality Irish milk from local farms.
Niamh:… to my shop…
Michael …to your kitchen table.
Niamh:Buy quality Irish milk you can trust.
by choosing the NDC Guarantee.”
The complainant objected to the fact that the advertisers were informing consumers to “Only buy milk with the NDC guarantee” and that milk from the NDC was milk that ‘you can trust’. He queried if the advertisers were insinuating that the brand of his choice was not to be trusted or guaranteed just because it was not affiliated to the NDC. He also asked if they could prove that their milk was of a better quality than other brands.
The complainant said that it was his opinion that the NDC’s quality guarantee was strictly an exclusionary measure designed to keep the market closed and that it was therefore misleading in content.
The advertisers said that the NDC guarantee allowed consumers in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) to make more informed choices about the origin of the milk and cream which they bought. Milk or cream with their guarantee on the pack, gave assurance to consumers that it had been both farmed and processed in the ROI. Consumers were also afforded the opportunity to show their support for local jobs on dairy farms and in the dairy sector in an active way by choosing to buy NDC accredited products.
The advertisers also said that their trade mark ‘emblem’ featured on their packs was granted for use under licence on the basis that their milk and cream were both farmed and processed in the ROI and there was an audit process in place to guarantee this fact. During the development of their trade mark it was checked legally both on a national and EU legislative basis. It was also tested against both competition and the free movement of goods legislation and was found to be compliant with both.
Finally the advertisers said that they only promoted the virtues of their members’ products and in doing so did not demonise any other products.
Complaint Not Upheld
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response together with the further comments submitted by the complainant.
The Committee noted the criteria under which the advertisers were allowed to use their trademark ‘emblem’. They considered that, while the purpose of the advertising had been to encourage consumers to purchase NDC accredited products, the advertisers had not stated that those who purchased other brands were buying untrustworthy products. In the circumstances the Complaints Committee did not consider that the advertising had breached the requirements of the Code and did not uphold the complaint.
No further action was required in this case.