ASA reviewing more than 100 Oatly complaints

UK adverts watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority, has said it is still reviewing more than 100 complaints challenging environmental claims made by food manufacturer Oatly.

The Swedish oat drink producer became the subject of controversy for its “Help Dad” marketing campaign, which ran on UK television channels, newspapers and social media.

The ads encouraged viewers to visit a website made by the firm which made questionable claims about farming’s environmental impact.

A spokesperson for the ASA said: “We’ve received 109 complaints where they have challenged various environmental claims seen in the ads, which we are currently reviewing.

We have not currently opened an investigation based on these complaints, which we are still reviewing.

“In addition, we received several complaints on various other issues which, following assessment, we will not be taking further action on.”

Other complaints are understood to have included allegations of ageism.

Oatly’s ‘Help Dad’ campaign

The ‘Help Dad’ advert, created by Oatly’s ‘Department of Mind Control’ sees a middle-aged man shamed by his son for drinking milk late at night.

Another advert run as part of the same campaign showed a daughter refusing to pick up milk from the shop for her father.

The ‘Help Dad’ website includes “ways to neutralise dad’s arguments” as well as recipes for vegan versions of “dad recipes” – including beef stroganoff, spaghetti bolognese, shepherd’s pie, chicken tikka masala, and apple crumble.

“Maybe try swapping one ingredient at a time in order to slowly ease dad into a less caveman-ish diet,” it advises.

“He might not even notice the difference, which poses an interesting moral dilemma – at what point do you tell dad that he may already be a vegan?”

Oatly also partnered with The Guardian to run three environmental-themed supplements in the newspaper – including a 24-page “Guide to parenting your parents” – as part of the campaign.

The firm announced last week that it plans to open its first UK factory in Peterborough.