Tesco hits out at 'misleading' ad

NIGEL COPE

Tesco, the supermarket group, has made a formal complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority about an animal rights advertisement that is aimed at stopping the culling of seals in Canada.

The International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW) ran a full-page advertisement in one of yesterday's newspapers calling for Tesco's chairman, Sir Ian MacLaurin, to ban Canadian tinned salmon in its stores in order to increase pressure on the Canadian authorities to stop the culling.

Under a graphic illustration, the advertisement headline runs: "Every tin of Canadian salmon Tesco sells is another blow Sir Ian."

Tesco said it had made the complaint because it felt that the advertisement could be misinterpreted. The company said yesterday: "Tesco does not condone the practice of seal culling but we believe this advert is misleading. We do not feel it is our role to make moral judgements on our customers' behalf. It is up to [them] to make an informed choice. We label our products clearly and display literature in the stores to enable them to do this."

IFAW said yesterday that it stood by its advertisement and planned to run it in other newspapers. It pointed out that it did not intend to harm Tesco, and had held discussions with the company before the advert appeared. The group had chosen Tesco for its promotion because Sir Ian had made a stand against selling Canadian fish in 1984. But the supermarket chain said that that situation had been different as it had involved baby seals.

The animal rights group also said that, in refusing to help to stop the killing, Tesco was inadvertently supporting the trade in seals' penises, regarded as an aphrodisiac in the Far East. Tesco said: "That is completely wrong. This has nothing to do with us. We think [this] trade is appalling. But it has nothing to do with tinned salmon."

The Canadians say the culling is necessary. At a press conference yesterday the Canadian High Commission said: "This cynical campaign, whose main purpose is to raise funds for the IFAW, is a further example of ... alarmist propaganda. If this technique is allowed to prevail it will not end with one supermarket chain or one product."

The commission said that the culling had to be done to curb the burgeoning population of harp seals in the North Atlantic. It added that the number of seals had doubled to 5 million in the past five years, and that each seal can consume up to 1.4 million tonnes of fish per year. The commission also said that only 3 per cent of seals are still clubbed. The rest are shot.

In a separate development, Tesco yesterday mailed out pounds 40m of money-off and product offers to holders of its loyalty card. Members who have collected more than 40 points, between 16 October and 12 November, will also be sent a turkey voucher worth pounds 3.55. Tesco's Clubcard has more than 6 million members, and more than 170,000 students have signed up for the company's student card.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate