A Sainsbury's campaign offering to "Feed Your Family For £50" misled consumers by falling short on the amount of calories and ingredients required for four people, a watchdog has ruled.
The supermarket's television, press and online ads attracted seven complaints that meal plans did not provide enough calories to meet the needs of a family of four and did not make it clear that extra snacks and store cupboard ingredients would have to be bought separately.
Two of the complainants suggested that the plans were not suitable for under four-year-olds while another claimed that the campaign condoned poor nutritional habits in children.
Defending the campaign, Sainsbury's explained that the overall message never included drinks or snacks and the terms and conditions clearly stated that the meal plans were devised to provide an average of at least 75% of the recommended daily calories for a UK adult.
The retailer said it regularly commissioned research to understand what customers had in their store cupboards and to ensure the list remained realistic.
It added that children under four had differing nutritional needs to older children and, because of this, the terms and conditions of the £50 meal planner website clearly stated that the plans as written were not designed for toddlers.
Upholding the complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority said that although the retailer had structured the meal plans responsibly in terms of calorific guidance, the ads were misleading for claiming that readers could meet all their food needs for £50 a week.
It also concluded that many customers would have to spend more than £50 to obtain all the ingredients necessary for the meal plans, and that the ads implied that the advertised meal plans were suitable for children under four years of age when this was not the case.
However, it did not find that the campaign condoned or encouraged poor nutritional habits in children.
Advertising's most sexist ads
Sainsbury's feed family for £50 ad 'misleading'
"A woman is only a woman but a good cigar is a smoke".Only a woman? Feminists would take issue at the "only" adverb, and the idea that any human being of either gender is inferior to a cancer-inducing product from Benson & Hedges.
Don't blame the ad men completely. That ad tag line is actually the evil work of one Rudyard Kipling. From a poem he penned called "The Bethrothed".
Now this is a creepy ad: "I have created a playground for men's hands." Armando Ghedini created wigs "for other men who adore women". This wig was also wash'n'wear. Nice.
The thoughtful signor Ghedini had also designed a wig to be combed in any direction, "for men to tousle". Men, he said, become "inspired" by women who wore it and women, Ghedini added, were grateful.
VW advertising has often been self-deprecating and clever. In 1960s America their ads were phenomenally successful, persuading thousands of Americans to ditch large thirsty home-made offerings for the company's cramped, noisy but economical Beetle.
Their ads flattered the intelligence of the American middle class. But this ad depicing a bashed-up VW bug? "Sooner or later your wife will drive home one of the best reasons for owning a Volkswagen". Not their female customers, clearly. What were they thinking?
Similarly, Easyjetalso thought that a pair of ample breasts would be enough to help ticket sales. This ad dates back to 2003 when George Bush, Dick Cheney and Tony Blair were getting very animated about those hard-to-find weapons of mass destruction.
This particular ad garnered around 200 complaints to the Advertising Council and also escaped any ticking off. And plenty of publicity of course. It all worked out beautifully for Easyjet. Tits away, Stelios.
Car manufacturers and cigarette companies are regular sexist offenders. Here Italian typewriter maker Olivetti peddles the idea that young women are passive, servants ready to transcribe boardroom minutes at a moment's notice.
Where are Olivetti now in the global brand firmament?. Join the Olivetti girls. At ease, ladies, please.
Melon distributor F.H.Hogue of California thought his melons were pretty buxom and wanted to spread the word. Ho-ho, Mr Hogue.
There are plenty more examples and we'll be looking at more anther time. In the meantime let's leave with a woman knowing exactly where she should be (in the home, honey).
Here is a 1970s shoe ad from a brand called Weyenberg. You may find it hard to track down a Weyenberg shoe today however.
However, not all car makers followed such a well-worn patronising path. Back in the 1970s Honda in the US reversed the idea that women always needed cars with simple, easy-to-drive automatic gearboxes.
Despite offering both a manual and auto gearbox, neither was "a women's car" Honda stated firmly. Note the jaunty hat and jeans. A stab at selling to the US lesbian community? Or an independent straight girl fed up with stereotypes. Good for Honda.