Rama is not 'margarine', advertising body tells Checkers

Shoprite Checkers has been ordered to remove the word "margarine" when advertising the popular sandwich spread Rama.

This follows a complaint at the Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) by Dave Bennett after the retailer issued a catalogue featuring special deals offered by Checkers.

The relevant deal is for Rama "Original" spread. The claim is that the product is "margarine".

Bennett argued that the product is not "margarine" as legally defined. You can only call a yellow "margarine" product "margarine" if it contains a maximum of 16% water, and the Rama product contains more water than that, Bennett argued.

Shoprite Checkers said it investigated the complaint and found the mistake to have occurred in only one of its divisions, KwaZulu-Natal, with all the other divisions labelling the product correctly in all advertising material.

"The KwaZulu-Natal advertising team has been informed accordingly, and it will ensure that going forward, the word 'margarine' will not be used when advertising Rama," Checkers said.

"In this matter, the advertiser has undertaken not to use the term 'margarine' in its advertising in relation to the Rama 'Original' product going forward. This undertaking is not only unequivocal, but clearly addresses the concerns raised by Mr Bennett. There is therefore no need to consider or investigate the matter any further," the ARB said on November 16.

According to Wikipedia, margarine was first made in France in 1869. It was created by Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès in response to a challenge by Emperor Napoleon III to create a butter substitute from beef tallow for the armed forces and lower classes.

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