Beef + Lamb Television
COMPLAINT NUMBER 17/117
COMPLAINANT L Bennington ADVERTISER Beef + Lamb NZ ADVERTISEMENT Beef + Lamb Television DATE OF MEETING 18 April 2017
OUTCOME No Grounds to Proceed
Advertisement: The Beef + Lamb New Zealand Television Advertisement featured images of New Zealand Olympians and various beef and lamb dishes The voiceover stated "Red meat 3-4 times a week'is just what you need to keep you feeling at your peak," and "Red meat can't be beat."
The Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Complainant, L Bennington, said: The advertisement was advertising that eating red meat
3-4 times a week is important/ beneficial to health and wellbeing. This is highly contested, if not blatantly false information. Red meat has been repeatedly linked to increased risk of heart conditions and cancers and New Zealanders need to stop being fed misleading information about the health benefits of meat while the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially recommends a heavily plants based diet as the best option. I believe that this advertisement was in violation of 2nd and 3rd basic principles (no advertisement shall be misleading and all advertisements should be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility).
The relevant provisions were Code for Advertising Food - Principle 1, Principle 2.
The Chair noted the Complainant's concerns regarding the possible links between red meat and heart conditions and cancer as well as the WHO recommendation of a heavily plant-based diet as a better option.
The Chair referred to a precedent decision, Decision 16/063, for a similar advertisement, which was Not Upheld by the Complaints Board. In response to that complaint, the Advertiser provided a comprehensive response to the potential correlation between the consumption of red meat and the risk of cancer and heart disease. This included evidence from the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation, the World Cancer Research Fund and the New Zealand Ministry of Health. The evidence presented to the Board was that controlled portions of beef and lamb as part of a balance diet were not deemed to be detrimental to heart health or a cancer risk.
Decision 16/063 said in part:
The Complaints Board said the "Way to Grow" campaign by Beef and Lamb New Zealand did not breach any part of the Code for Advertising Food. It said nowhere in the advertisements was it implied that red meat was the only or superior source of protein. The Complaints Board noted the nutritional claims made about red meat met the Australia New Zealand Food Standards and were in line with Ministry of Health
guidelines and said none of the claims made in the campaign about the benefits of
including red meat in children's diets were exaggerated or misleading.
The Complaints Board said it was acceptable to advertise red meat for consumption by children as long as portions shown were in line with health guidelines which the Complaints Board confirmed they were. Similarly, it said there was no suggestion in any of the advertisements that a diet without meat was detrimental.
The Chair confirmed that this Decision applied to the complaint before her and ruled the advertisement was not misleading. It had been prepared with a high standard of social responsibility to consumers and there was no apparent breach of the Code for Advertising Food.
Accordingly, the Chair ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.
Chai r' s Ruling: Complaint No Grounds to Proceed