Costa rapped for radio ad saying bacon roll is better breakfast than an avocado

Advertising Watchdogs have upheld complaints over a Costa radio ad, which suggested a bacon roll was a better breakfast choice than an avocado.

The advert, aired on 27 June this year, featured a voice-over stating: “Oh, there’s a great deal on ripen-at-home avocados. Sure, they’ll be hard as rock for the first 18 days, three hours and 20 minutes, then they'll be ready to eat, for about 10 minutes, then they’ll go off.

“For a better deal, head to Costa Coffee and grab a delicious, piping hot bacon roll or egg muffin for just £2 when you buy any medio or massimo hot drink or flat white before 11am.”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received two complaints challenging whether the ad discouraged the selection of fresh fruit.

Although it did consider that the ad was light-hearted, the ASA ruled that it nevertheless suggested avocados were a poor breakfast choice, and that a bacon roll or egg muffin would be a better alternative.

In doing so, the ASA said it discouraged the selection of avocados and breached the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising. The code states that comparisons between foods must not discourage the selection of options such as fresh fruit and fresh vegetables.

In its defence, Costa said it was not suggesting listeners make a choice between two breakfast items, but highlighted the coffee chain had a promotional breakfast offer.

Radiocentre, the industry body for commercial radio, said it felt the ad was not in breach of the Code because it was unlikely that the majority of consumers would regard it as a serious comparison between bacon rolls or egg muffins and avocados.

The ASA said the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form, and warned Costa to ensure future ads did not condone or encourage poor nutritional habits.

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