Asda has been criticised by the advertising watchdog today for not complying with case law over price comparison advertising.
Print and TV adverts run by Asda last February said the supermarket giant’s prices on almost 3,000 branded products were cheaper than rival Morrisons. The prices were said to be checked by independent sources including supermarket price comparison site Mysupermarket.co.uk.
Morrisons complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the advert was misleading.
Asda price advert criticised
The ASA said the adverts were not complying with case law from the European Court of Justice by not setting out how consumers or competitors could check price information.
It ruled that future adverts that compare prices in rival supermarkets must tell people how to check prices for themselves. But the ASA did think Asda chose a fair selection of products to compare prices against Morrisons.
An Asda spokesman said: ‘We have since changed the wording for ads where we compare our prices with Morrisons by stating that customers can contact Asda head office for a list of products.’
Watch out for supermarket special offers that might not be so special in all the UK’s supermarkets – Which? research recently found some which didn’t comply with government guidelines.
Supermarket price war
The ASA’s decision against Asda comes a week after Tesco launched its own price comparison tool online. The supermarket says it compares actual consumer shopping baskets against equivalents in its rivals.
Prices are fast becoming the key competition between supermarkets, with most of the giants posting results this week. Sainsbury’s said it had its best ever Christmas, while Tesco’s growth was far more modest.
Discount supermarket Aldi said its growth in 2008 was 25% on the year before.
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