The Real Bread Campaign (RBC) has said it is “deeply disappointed” that advertising watchdogs have rejected its claim that a Tesco TV ad implies the retailer makes additive-free loaves in small batches by hand.

In the ad, which can be viewed on the retailer’s website, a worker is shown making a batch of loaves using methods, equipment and quantities to be found in a small, traditional craft bakery, said the RBC.

The worker states in the ad: “In all my years working for Tesco I’d say there can’t be anything more satisfying than watching flour, yeast and water turn into perfectly formed loaves.”

The RBC complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), arguing: “The clear intention of this advertisement is to lead the viewer to think these are the actual ingredients and methods used to make Tesco loaves.”

The RBC added: “In common with other Tesco own-brand loaves, the Finest white sliced cob seen at the end of the advertisement is made in a factory, also using a number of additives.”

The ingredients as stated on the packaging for the loaf in question are: ‘wheat flour (wheat flour, calcium carbonate, iron, niacin, thiamin), water, sourdough (6%) (wheat flour, calcium carbonate, iron, niacin, thiamin), water, sourdough culture (wheat, yeast, salt), salt, yeast, soya flour, palm oil, rapeseed oil, emulsifier (mono- and di-acetyltartaric esters of mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids), flour treatment agent (ascorbic acid).”

The ASA rejected the complaint, pointing out that a conveyor belt could be seen in the ad.

“Given that context, and because the ad was for a well-known large-scale retailer, [the ASA Council] considered that viewers were unlikely to be misled into thinking that Tesco loaves were handmade,” it stated.

“While the baker referred to three ingredients in particular, they considered viewers were likely to understand they were the most fundamental ones rather than that they were the only ingredients included in Tesco bread products.”

RBC coordinator Chris Young said: “Once again, we believe the ASA has failed to protect shoppers from being lured away from small businesses that help to keep our high streets alive.”

The ASA and Tesco have been approached by British Baker for comment.