Saturday 23 February 2019

Nude picnics get all-clear but Irish firm roasted for implying its ham is British

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

NAKED picnickers are okay, but Kerry Foods has got into trouble for implying its ham is British.

An advert featuring a naked man described its ham as British even though it's made in Wicklow.

The Irish food giant said today that it will not repeat a claim about the ham, which the UK Advertising Standards Authority found was misleading to consumers.

The ad provoked nearly 400 complaints from viewers, many of whom found its nudity offensive.

The ad featured a man standing in a field eating a sandwich wearing only cap, who then strolled past a group of naked people eating a picnic.

The man then sang "Oh Richmond Ham, as nature intended, you've nothing to hide Richmond ham, to me you taste blooming splendid".

This was followed by a voiceover which declared "New Richmond ham.

Britain's only ham made with 100pc natural ingredients".

The ham in question is actually made in Kerry's plant in Shillelagh, Co Wicklow.

The ad provoked 371 complaints in Britain, many of which said the nudity was offensive and inappropriate for younger viewers.

However the UK watchdog did not uphold these complaints as they found the nudity was unlikely to cause widespread offence because it was not sexual in tone.

But it found the wording "Britain's only ham" was misleading as viewers were likely to interpret this as meaning it was British in origin, and ruled the ad must not be broadcast again in this form.

However the ASA rejected complaints about the brand's claim to have 100pc natural ingredients.

A Kerry Foods spokesperson said they accepted the ruling, but the ad had run its course anyway, and a new advertising campaign for this product was currently being developed.

It had never been their intention to mislead consumers about where the ham came from as they were talking about its availability in Britain rather than its origin, but they obviously would not repeat this claim in new advertising, he said.

"We are pleased that out of the five issues raised, only one was upheld," he said.

The same ad did not run in Ireland for any of their Irish ham brands, because they had completely different marketing teams, he said.

This was not because Irish people would be too shocked by such an ad campaign, it was simply because they were different products, the spokesman added.

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