The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned Pret a Manger’s advertisements which were claiming that their sandwiches use natural ingredients.
As reported by The Guardian, the ASA said the ads which were distributed on Pret’s Facebook page and website, included the promise that they have “proper sandwiches avoiding the obscure chemicals, additives and preservatives” used by other fast-food chains, which is misleading.
They have added that by using the word “natural” consumers have understood that their products only contain ingredients straight from nature. Because of some of Pret’s products contained E-numbers, which do not constitute as ‘natural’ foods, the ASA has concluded that the advertisements were misleading.
The Independent has presented Pret a Manger have explained that their ads did not claim, that they used only natural ingredients or that their food was additive and preservative free. They have clarified further in relation to the statement “doing the right thing… naturally”, saying that the word “naturally” presented in this context was not referring to their food, but instead it was meant as “of course”, or “obviously”.
Even after the statements made by Pret, the ASA conclude: “We told Pret a Manger to ensure their ads did not claim or imply that their food was “natural”, unless their products and ingredients were in line with consumer expectations of the term,”, as stated by The Guardian. As such, Pret a Manger cannot use the mentioned ads in their current version and their banned from creating any future advertisements with misleading information.