Asda's misleading price ads banned

2 Feb 2011

CHESHUNT – Tesco has welcomed a ruling from Britain's advertising watchdog that Asda's original "Price Guarantee" campaign is misleading and untruthful, banning the ads from being shown again.

CHESHUNT – Tesco has welcomed a ruling from Britain's advertising watchdog that Asda's original "Price Guarantee" campaign is misleading and untruthful, banning the ads from being shown again.

But more action is needed as the Advertising Standards Authority considers the latest round of the Asda campaign, which makes the even more misleading assertion that Asda is 10% cheaper than its competitors – which it is not.

Tesco Commercial Director Richard Brasher said:

"Asda has been found out here, but by running virtually the same campaign again, with an even more exaggerated claim, it is flaunting the spirit of the ASA ruling. I look forward to a quick resolution to the latest investigation – customers have a right to be treated much better than this."

The ASA ruling finds all five Asda ads in the original campaign, launched in April, to be in breach of various points of the Advertising Code, with one particularly flagrant TV ad falling foul of the rules on no fewer than three counts – Misleading Advertising, Evidence and Guarantees. Other print ads were found to be in breach of the rules on Truthfulness. And none of the ads in question may be shown again in their current form.

While Asda persists in promising completely fictitious levels of savings through a complex and unwieldy 12-step gimmick, Tesco keeps its promise of great value every day to customers.

There are over 6,000 food lines on promotion this week in Tesco superstores and Tesco's constantly-refreshed customer offers as ever include something for everybody, from delicious champagnes for Valentine's Day to Chinese 'take-aways' specially created by Ken Hom which are ideal for Chinese New Year – to traditional cuts of meat and household staples such as washing powder:

  • Half Price Selected Wines ideal for Valentine's Day, including Half Price Nicolas Feuillate Champagne and Better Than Half Price Nobilo Sauv Blanc Ltd Release
  • £5 Ken Hom Meal Deal - Ideal for Chinese New Year £5 (2 mains, 2 rice, 1 snack) Half Price Tesco Pork Stir Fry and BOGOF Stirfry Veg / Sauce / Noodles.
  • Half Price Pork Leg - price reduced from £5.98/kg to £2.99/kg
  • Better Than Half Price Daz Powder 42 Scoop. £4 - Normal Price £8.17
  • Pampers Active Fit Carry Packs £5 - Normal price £6.49

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The ASA's adjudication is attached. Please note that the ASA has embargoed this for release on 2 February 2011. The ASA upheld Tesco's sole complaint (point 8). It did not uphold complaints on a number of technical points made by another retailer.

Tesco challenged the Asda Price Guarantee on the basis that it misleadingly suggested that Asda were cheaper than ourselves, Morrison and Sainsbury's.

The ASA upheld our complaint and found that:

  • the overall message of Asda's adverts were that they were cheaper on shopping generally and this was misleading;
  • Asda's attempts to limit their message by pointing out in small print that there were exclusions was not sufficient to warn consumers of the extent of those exclusions.

As a result, the ASA said that Asda could not run the adverts in that form on TV or in press again. The ASA also said that in future adverts Asda must not suggest that their Price Guarantee applied to shopping generally if it only applied to specific items.

Because we do not believe that customers should have to return to Asda to redeem its Price Guarantee coupons – which are in themselves proof that Asda's promotion is misleading – Tesco will redeem these coupons in full.

Some of Tesco's outstanding current promotions include:

  • Vat Free on all Technika TVs 02/02 - 22/02
  • Offer periods for products in release:
  • Half Price Selected Wines ideal for Valentine's Day, including Half Price Nicolas Feuillate Champagne and Better Than Half Price Nobilo Sauv Blanc Ltd Release until 14/02
  • £5 Ken Hom Meal Deal - Ideal for Chinese New Year £5 (2 mains, 2 rice, 1 snack) until 8/02
  • Half Price Tesco Pork Stir Fry and buy one, get one free Stirfry Veg / Sauce / Noodles until 9/02
  • Better Than Half Price Daz Powder 42 Scoop. £4 - Normal Price £8.17 - until 6/02
  • Pampers Active Fit Carry Packs £5 - Normal price £6.49  until 6/02 Half Price

For further information please call the press office on: 01992 644 645