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Alpro censured over ‘good for the planet’ ad claim

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Alpro has been censured by the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over the statement ‘good for the planet’ made in an advertisement referencing its almond drink product. 

The ASA was reacting to a complaint about an advertisement seen on the side of a London bus which featured three statements – ‘Next stop. Your recipe to a healthier planet!’, ‘Good for the planet’ and ‘Good for you’ – alongside images of three Alpro plant-based drinks. 

The complainant challenged whether the claim ‘Good for the planet’ was misleading and could be substantiated, specifically in relation to almond production. 

Alpro told the ASA that it believed consumers would understand that the claims ‘recipe for a healthier planet’ and ‘good for the planet’ to mean that plant-based products, such as the Alpro products shown in the ad, had a lower environmental impact than alternative dairy-based products. It said that shifting towards more plant-based diets was widely recognised as a way to lower the carbon footprint of the agri-food sector, and that plant-based drinks required substantially less water and land and generated substantially lower CO2 emissions, than cow milk. 

The company Alpro said that the almonds it used in its almond drink were cultivated in a sustainable way which minimised water use and protected biodiversity and pollinating insects. And it emphasised that the almonds it used came exclusively from small farms around the Mediterranean and that they were mostly watered by rain.  

But while the ASA acknowledged that Alpro’s almonds were sourced in a comparatively sustainable way, it said that the company’s environmental claims in the ad could be interpreted in a number of different ways. It said the CAP Code required that the basis of environmental claims must be clear and that unqualified claims could mislead if they omit significant information”. It ruled that Alpro’s ad could mislead, and was therefore in breach of the code. It told Alpro that the ad must not appear again in the form complained about.

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