ADVERTISING WATCHDOGS have been criticised for the slow response to a farming industry complaint about misleading posters put up by anti-meat campaigners.

Back in June, on the back of an outcry from its members, NFU Scotland lodged a formal complaint with the Advertising Standards Agency about a Scottish poster campaign by pressure group Go Vegan World that erroneously claimed that food animals contributed more to climate change than transport.

The ASA has now ruled against the posters, and Go Vegan World has been made to give assurances that it will not repeat the falsehood – but NFUS is unhappy that the offending posters were still publicly visible up until just a few weeks ago.

Union president Andrew McCornick said: “Farming’s frustration over misinformation being spread about the industry has never been higher. When we see inaccuracies, we must challenge them. Not least because mainstream media often take erroneous claims like this as being the truth.

“We challenged the claims on this poster about the livestock sector’s contribution to greenhouse gas emission because they were clearly inaccurate, and we provided both UK and Scottish Government statistics to the ASA to prove our point," he reported.

“We welcome the steps taken by ASA and would not hesitate to make similar complaints in the future. However, ASA must consider the timeframe in which it responds to official complaints.

“With our evidence and grievance lodged in June, posters continued to be seen by our members in Edinburgh and Glasgow until only a few weeks ago. While the organisation has now agreed to remove the posters, their damaging and inaccurate messaging has been visible throughout this period.

He added: “We urge our members to continue to bring false claims to our attention and we will act, where we can, on their behalf."