Asda’s new campaign to promote milk has come under fire from farmers. The “closer, faster, fresher” advertising drive is fronted by comedian Paul Whitehouse who is seen helping out with morning milking and delivering the milk to an Asda store.

Jonathan Betts, senior milk buyer at the retailer, said: “The aim of the campaign is to highlight to our customers the unique relationship that we have with our supplying dairy farmers.”

However, the campaign also features an in-store price cut. Two four-pint bottles of milk are available for only £2 compared with £1.15 if bought individually. A pair of six-pint bottles is priced at just £3. Sainsbury’s and Tesco have followed suit.
 
Gwyn Jones, dairy farmer and NFU dairy board chairman, said the price cut sent the wrong message to consumers about the value of milk when everybody should be focusing on adding value to the milk supply chain. “It’s a crude and pathetic attempt to get one over on Tesco.”

One dairy farmer who contacted Farmers Weekly said the move would not lead to more milk sales and instead of cutting its own margin, Asda should be passing the money back to farmers.

But Arla Foods Milk Partnership member Richard Shuttleworth, who hosted Mr Whitehouse, said it was good to see a retailer investing money in driving milk sales and highlighting to the public the effort that goes in to getting the freshest possible milk to store.