Costa Coffee Ad Banned For Discouraging Customers From Buying Avocados

They suggested a bacon roll instead.
Costa
Costa
SIPA USA/PA Images

A Costa Coffee radio advert has been banned for discouraging consumers from buying avocados.

The commercial debuted in June and featured a voice-over bemoaning how long the fruit takes to ripen, before encouraging listeners to go for a bacon roll or egg muffin instead.

The voice said: “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.”

It sparked just two listener complaints, but this was enough for an investigation from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Costa said the ad played on the “unfortunate issue of ripening” avocados and said it was not suggesting to listeners that they made a definitive choice over two breakfast items, but instead informing them that they had a promotional offer “to satisfy breakfast requirements”.

Radiocentre, which clears ads for broadcast, said consumers would regard the comparison as a “light-hearted remark about the common experience of buying inedible avocados when compared to buying an instant hot coffee and bacon roll or egg muffin”.

However, the ASA disagreed and ruled that consumers would interpret the ad as a comparison between the experience of eating an avocado and a bacon roll or egg muffin.

It said: “We considered that, although the ad was light-hearted, it nevertheless suggested avocados were a poor breakfast choice, and that a bacon roll or egg muffin would be a better alternative, and in doing so discouraged the selection of avocados.

“We told Costa to ensure future ads did not condone or encourage poor nutritional habits and that they did not disparage good dietary practice.”