Budget retailer Aldi is being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority following a complaint by a Scottish environmental campaigner over an advert which showed Scottish salmon swimming in the wild - when the store actually sells farmed fish.
John Robins of the Save Our Seals Fund in Dunbarton told the ASA that the supermarket was misleading customers in its ‘Everyday Amazing’ advert, which aims to highlight Aldi's ethical ethos, including selling “RSPCA assured salmon” - a scheme to ensure farmed fish are looked after.
Mr Robins claimed that the advert showed wild, uncaged salmon swimming in open water, while Aldi’s produce is actually reared in caged, floating fish farms.
The ASA confirmed it was investigating the complaint.
Mr Robins said: “I am pleased the ASA has taken our complaint seriously and is investigating the matter. However it could be many more weeks before we get a final ruling from the ASA and I think consumers should know now that this advert could be misleading.
“The ad shows a few free-swimming wild salmon and not the thousands of salmon held in the floating factory farm fish cages used on RSPCA approved farms. Aldi claim this advertising campaign focuses on ethical issues. If it was ethical and truthful it would not replace reality with myth. Instead it would show the thousands of salmon swimming around and around inside the cage nets on their floating factory farms.”
In a letter to Mr Robins, the ASA said it would contact Aldi and Clearcast, the clearance body for TV ads, for their comments on the complaint.
It wrote: “We have carried out an initial assessment of your complaint and have decided that further investigation is needed.”
A spokesman for Aldi said: “The use of the RSPCA Assured logo in our advert indicates that the salmon featured is farmed and not caught in the wild.
“All of our Specially Selected salmon, including the product shown in the advert, is responsibly sourced from salmon farms in Scotland.”