Asda rapped for 'misleading' price advertAsda price guarantee ad complaints upheld by ASA

03 February 2011

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Asda produces a range of digital radios under its own brand name

Asda has received a ticking off by advertising watchdog ASA over its original advertising for its Asda price guarantee initiative, after complaints from rival supermarkets Tesco and Morrisons.

The adverts, which were shown on TV and in newspapers in April last year, promoted Asda's price guarantee website - which guaranteed that Asda would be the cheapest supermarket for your shopping or it would refund the difference, plus 1p. 

Asda has long promoted itself by promising lower prices, but in our latest supermarket investigation the Wal Mart-owned supermarket was ranked below other well-known rivals - find out how Asda faired, plus which supermarket was voted the best overall by 12,000 Which? members in our supermarket survey.

Morrisons challenges Asda price comparison

Tesco and Morrisons complained that the adverts implied that Asda was generally cheaper than its rivals, rather than for specific items, and that non-grocery items, such as toys and World Cup 2010 products, were also covered by the guarantee. In reality, the Asda price guarantee is a grocery price comparison, and doesn't include non-grocery products such as toys, clothing and electrical goods.

The ASA agreed and ordered that the adverts must not appear again in their current form. It said: 'We told Asda to ensure their ads did not suggest their price guarantee applied to all items, or that their savings claims referred to shopping generally rather than specific items, if that was not the case.'

Morrisons argued that the Asda price guarantee - which compares prices online for Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose through supermarket price-comparison site and on shelves at Morrison - could not guarantee an accurate reflection of Morrison's prices.

It also challenged exclusions from the Asda price guarantee, saying it believed branded and own-label products, such as meat, were not compared in the Asda price guarantee. But these complaints were not upheld by the ASA.

Asda response to ASA ruling

Asda conceded that it shouldn't have promoted its price guarantee against non-grocery items that were not included in it but added that the ruling showed the ASA believed that the methods used to compare grocery prices were fair and robust. 

It has since launched a new Asda price guarantee - which guarantees your shopping to be at least 10% cheaper than its rivals or you get the difference in the form of shopping vouchers. 

An Asda spokesperson told Which? that the price guarantee has had a million users since its launch, and increased seven-fold in January on the back of the updated initiative. 

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