A complaint made by vegan group Viva! regarding the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) ‘Pork Midweek Meals’ campaign has been dismissed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

AHDB stated that pork medallions were “low in fat” as part of its ‘Pick Pork’ marketing campaign which ran in September and October last year.

However, the claim was met with complaints by the vegan activist group. It called into question the health claim, arguing that pork medallions should not be considered “low in fat”.

The investigation included tests to support the claim, showing that pork medallions contained on average just 0.17g of saturated fat; well below the maximum limit of 3g of fat per 100g to be considered low in fat.

The regulator said the tests carried out independently on behalf of AHDB were “sufficiently robust”, adding that the board had not breached any UK advertising codes.

Sales boost

AHDB pork strategy director Angela Christison said she was “very pleased” by the ruling.

“We are delighted that the results from our research have been upheld and consumers can make healthy choices knowing the findings are robust.

ADHB pork advert, vegan complaint

One of AHDB’s pork adverts

“A great deal of work has gone into the latest pork advertising campaign and we worked closely with Trading Standards under a ‘Primary Authority Partnership’, in advance of launching our campaign, to ensure our claims around health and nutrition were accurate.

“Shoppers can be confident that industry is working in the best interest of consumers,” she said.

The advertising campaign was launched in September last year, following research which showed consumer perception of pork was that of a fatty, old-fashioned meat.

An initial evaluation has shown that campaign cuts saw an 8% increase in sales volume over the course of the campaign period compared to the same point the previous year.

The third ‘Pork Medallion Midweek Meal’ advertising campaign will hit TV screens again in September of this year.