M&B slammed by ASA for not responding to complaint over steak ad

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Under fire: Mitchells & Butlers has been blasted over an advert showing fillet steak (not pictured)
Under fire: Mitchells & Butlers has been blasted over an advert showing fillet steak (not pictured)
Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has been criticised by advertising watchdogs for not responding to enquiries over a social media advert about a fixed price menu.

The advertisement, by Vintage Inns, which is owned by M&B, was also deemed misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

A post on the Vintage Inns’ Facebook page featured an image of a fillet steak with the text ‘fixed price dinner, enjoy two courses from £10.95’ along with a link to a page containing the fixed price menu.

The complainant questioned whether the ad was misleading because it did not show the fillet steak on the fixed price menu.

Investigating immediately

An M&B spokesperson on behalf of Vintage Inns said: “We take any ASA complaints extremely seriously.

“We are not aware of this specific complaint, but we will be investigating this issue immediately.”

The complaint was upheld as the ASA was concerned by Vintage Inns’ lack of response and apparent disregard for the code, which was a breach of Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code (Edition 12) rule (unreasonable delay).

The ASA confirmed to The Morning Advertiser ​that it had emailed Vintage Inns four times since the complaint was made in April.

Misleading advert

The ASA said it reminded Vintage Inns of its responsibility to provide a response to enquiries and told the company to do so in the future.

The advertising watchdog also considered that consumers would understand from the post that the fillet steak would be included in the fixed price promotion.

However, it appeared this was not the case as it did not feature on the fixed price menu linked to in the advert and as such, the ASA concluded the advert was misleading.

The advert must not appear again in its current form and it told Vintage Inns not to feature items that were not available on the fixed price menu. It also referred the matter to CAP’s compliance team.

  • Additional reporting by Fred A'Court

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