Walkers 'misled over salt content'Ad watchdog slams crisps giant

16 August 2006

 

A Walkers mailshot featuring Gary Lineker made misleading claims about salt levels in crisps, the advertising watchdog said today.

The leaflet from the snack giant wrongly implied that salt levels had been cut from all varieties of crisps made by Walkers, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled.

The promotion said: ‘We have reduced the salt in our crisps’ and ‘Our crisps now contain just 7 per cent of your guideline daily amount of salt’. It was sent to households across the UK along with a 25g bag of crisps.

The ASA said that from this advert, consumers were likely to think that Walkers had cut salt levels in all its crisps, which it hadn’t.

'Misleading'

The watchdog said: ‘Because we understood that was not the case, we concluded that the mailing was misleading and asked Walkers to ensure that future similar mailings clearly stated any Walkers brand crisps excluded from the claim.’

Lineker has long been the 'face' of Walkers and has appeared in TV ads, such as the one pictured, as well as in the mailshot criticised by the ASA.

The complaint was made by Consensus Action on Salt and Health, which branded the ad misleading and irresponsible because it failed to make clear that the reduction applied to only 12 out of 57 Walkers branded products.

The ASA found the leaflet in breach of the advertising code but it rejected another three complaints about a Walkers poster - also featuring Gary Lineker - which compared the salt content of crisps with salt in a slice of bread.