A McCain oven chip advert showing a farmer conducting rain and sunshine over fields of growing potatoes has received a number of complaints by viewers who have deemed it “misleading”.

The TV advert, with a voice-over stating: “McCain Oven Chips are made with sunshine and rain, potatoes and sunflower oil.  And nothing else.  Its all good”, received two complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The viewers said that the ad “misleadingly implied” that the produce was grown without the use of chemicals.

In response, McCain Foods said the ad conveyed the “simple, natural ingredients” that went into making their oven chips. The company explained that, as the back of pack ingredients list showed, the product contained “only two ingredients, potatoes and sunflower oil”, and that that was the main point it wanted to communicate. 

McCain maintained that the farmer sequence was a “straightforward metaphor for nature”, and for ingredients being grown in fields rather than manufactured in factories.

The complaints were not upheld by the ASA, which concluded that viewers “would not see the sequence as realistic”, and “would not infer that the crops were grown using solely rainwater and sun”. 

The ASA said no further action was necessary.

“We considered that the ad did not imply that McCain oven chips were organic or that they were produced more naturally than was the case. We concluded that it was unlikely to mislead.”