ASA raps Asda over price comparisonAsda falls foul of the ASA by misleading pricing

22 February 2006

An advert which claimed a basket of shopping from Asda was GBP 10 cheaper than a similar basket from Morrisons was misleading, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said today.

The watchdog found that Asda couldn't prove the accuracy of the prices it quoted for Morrisons because it hadn't bought the goods. Instead, Asda's marketing agency used a price check facility for the 36 items on the website of another supermarket -Tesco.com. It then checked them in 'a minimum' of two Morrisons stores.

This meant Asda had no receipts or any other evidence that the Morrisons prices quoted were correct, the ASA said.

The ASA ruled: 'We considered that, because they did not purchase the products and keep the receipts, there was no specific documentary record of whether the prices used in the comparisons were accurate or not.'

Asda's regional press advert and poster said: 'Asda saves you GBP 10. Come in store and pocket the difference. Asda GBP 64.03, Morrisons GBP 74.35.'

'Wrong prices'

Morrisons complained that some goods used in the comparison had been incorrectly priced and that Asda used some promotional prices for its own products. It said Asda included one item which Morrisons no longer sold and failed to take a Morrisons' price reduction into account.

The ASA said that Asda couldn't prove whether or not the items were on sale at promotional prices, nor whether a discontinued item had been included. It upheld six complaints about the advert and poster but dismissed a seventh which claimed the selection of goods in the basket had skewed the comparison.

Responding to the ASA's ruling, Asda said: 'We are pleased the ASA doesn't dispute that we are still Britain's best-value grocer. As far as we are concerned that's one more reason not to shop at Morrisons.'