Tesco has been forced to remove a series of nationwide adverts promoting a drop in milk prices after angry farmers spotted they were using pictures of cows only used for beef.
The supermarket giant erected hundreds of billboards in towns across the UK at the start of the month advertising their special deal of four pints of milk for just £1.
But eagle-eyed farmers soon noticed they had used a picture of a Hereford cross cow – which do not provide a drop of milk and are used exclusively for meat.
Now bungling Tesco bosses have been forced to replace the signs using pictures a dairy cow instead, which is expected to cost the company thousands of pounds.
The gaffe was first spotted in the rural market town of Bridgnorth, Shrops., – which is at the heart of the UK’s dairy farming industry.
Farmer Richard Yates saw the advert, which shows an idyllic countryside scene with cows grazing on green fields in the sunshine, on Friday .
Mr Yates, who has a herd of 100 Friesian cows, said: “They are using Hereford cross cows which are 100 per cent beef animals that would never have been milked in their lives.
“That shows how out of touch they are and what they think of dairy farmers.”
Fellow farmer Jim Findlay, 55, added: “It’s just a bit of basic research they needed to do – it is quite a stupid error to make whether it was done deliberately or not.
“Of course a town full of dairy farmers are going to notice this. It must have cost them thousands of pounds to replace.”
People also took to Twitter after spotting the error, with @freerangechef writing: “Dear #tesco why do you have pictures of beef cows,while promoting cheap milk?”
Another user @loweroxleyfarm added: “Come on Tesco this is a rural market town and they know you don’t milk beef cows.”
Tesco have now admitted the mistake and vowed to replace the signs with others which show a dairy breed.
A spokesman said: “As soon as we spotted this mistake we organised for new pictures to be used.
“Customers can expect to see the new adverts in their local store very soon.”
* Tesco sparked rumours of a price war between Britain’s ’big four’ supermarkets earlier this month when it slashed the cost of milk.
The company cut the price of four pints from £1.39 to £1 to break ranks with Sainsbury’s and Morrisons and join Asda, which has sold milk at £1 for more than a year.
Tesco said the decision would have “no impact” on what it pays to 650 dairy farmers who supply the business.
But the prospect of a price war has caused fear in the wider dairy farming industry, with concern that major buyers could apply pressure.