Waitrose has apologised for offending vegans by advertising meat and dairy during ITV’s first plant-based cooking show.
Viewers of Living on the Veg hit out at the supermarket, who sponsor the broadcaster’s Sunday morning cooking segment, after its advert at the beginning and end of the episode featured animal products.
The 10-part series, which aired last Sunday, is ITV’s first ever vegan cooking show. It features internet chef sensations Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, founders of the vegan recipe channel BOSH!, which has 1.5 billion views online.
Each week the duo are joined by guests in the kitchen for their signature recipes. Last Sunday’s episode saw the pair tackle a plant-based Sunday roast with actress Sadie Frost.
But viewers were shocked to discover that the highly anticipated show was “sponsored by farm animals”.
One user, Matt Jackson wrote on Twitter: “Gotta love the vegan TV show on ITV London, adverts topped and tailed with chickens and cows – sponsored by Waitrose. You couldn’t make it up.”
Another, Meg, a nurse and practicing vegan, wrote that “a little thought around the program advertising would’ve been nice”.
A third asked for the advert to be scrapped entirely, as it was “misleading”.
“Can you please replace the Waitrose sponsorship images of cows, chickens and eggs around the Living on the Veg plant-based cooking show?” they tweeted.
“It’s totally misleading. I am sure you can use images of plants, fruits and veggies to be more appropriate.”
One person simply wrote that a vegan cooking show “sponsored by farm animals” was “awkward”.
Waitrose said they were “sorry for the sponsorship credits” and that they were not aware of the subject of the programme in advance.