Culture

Submit a complaint to the ASA about dodgy M&S salmon ads

If you object to corporations marketing harmful products as "responsible", please step up

Have you seen these glossy new M&S ads for factory farmed salmon?

We just submitted complaints to the ASA. If you feel the same and are pushed for time, please consider using the templates below. The more of us that complain the more chance we have of getting these ads taken down and for positive changes to be made to this toxic industry. Thank you!

You can make your complaint here: https://www.asa.org.uk/make-a-complaint.html (5 minutes)

Advert 1

Possible words to use

Dear ASA,

I am writing to complain, in the strongest possible terms, about this Marks and Spencer video ad on Youtube.

In the video the presenters claim the salmon is "so special" because it is raised in this "pristine environment." However, we know that the west coast of Scotland is increasingly diminished and blighted by the immense pollution from salmon farms. Discharges include uneaten feed and faeces and lethal chemicals that go directly into the marine environment. Scottish salmon farms have dumped 300,000 tonnes of pollution in lochs over the last ten years.

For example:

You cannot describe a loch as "pristine" if it has a salmon factory farm in it.

Salmon farms reduce environmental quality in other ways too - such as using acoustic deterrent devices that harm whales.

For example:

The advert goes on to say that the salmon are raised in a "responsible way." M&S wants us to believe that farmed salmon is a “responsible” alternative to wild fish. In reality, salmon farms rely on catching vast quantities of wild fish to feed the caged animals. Recent investigations have found this to be driving over-fishing and endangering ecosystems as far away as South American and Africa. It takes up to 200 wild fish to raise one farmed salmon. When we know that ocean ecosystems are collapsing from overfishing... How is this responsible?

Shocking waste: hundreds of wild fish killed to produce 1 farmed salmon

The Scottish salmon industry currently uses roughly the same quantity of wild-caught fish to feed its salmon as is purchased by the entire adult population of the UK in one year. And it has plans to grow exponentially, aiming to double in size or more by 2030. I ask again - how on Earth can M&S claim these products are responsible?

This clearly breaks the ASA code on what is: sustainable, responsibly sourced, better etc… (Rules 9.1 to 9.10.)

Please sign our petition

Advert 2

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1202517806872207

Possible words to use

Dear ASA,

I am writing to complain, in the strongest possible terms, about this Marks and Spencer video ad on Facebook.

The video shows a beautiful Scottish loch. These lochs are widely reported as being damaged by the factory farming of salmon. Pollution is released directly from the cages into the sea. Please see the following articles for reference all with links to reputable sources:

I object to Marks and Spencer using the beautiful natural world it is destroying to market its products.

Further on in the video the salmon is described as "high quality" and "farming salmon to the highest possible standard"

It is widely reported that salmon on the farms across Scottish waters (that supply M&S) are affected by sea lice and disease to such a bad extent that between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 fish have died at sea in the last 10 years. The fish often die slowly being eaten alive by sea lice. The new abundance of sea lice is a contributing factor in wild salmon being pushed to extinction as warned by Sir David Attenborough.

For example:

We know there are better ways of farming salmon - for example - in closed systems that collect the waste, do not release pollution and in which the animals are protected from sea lice... So how is it reasonable for M&S to maintain the very poor current situation is "the highest possible standard"?

This clearly breaks the ASA code on what is: sustainable, responsibly sourced, better etc… (Rules 9.1 to 9.10.)

Consumers want to be able to make informed decisions about what they buy - especially food - and I feel this advert completely misrepresents both the product itself and how it is produced.

Thank you

Please sign our petition