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ASA rules in favour of Asda Price Guarantee

Despite complaints from rivals Morrison and Tescos, the Advertising Standards Authority has cleared the Price Guarantee campaign by Asda, launched last April.

Rival supermarkets claimed that the campaign, which claimed that its grocery shopping would be 10 percent cheaper than anywhere else, or it would repay the difference.

To do this it partnered with independent online comparison site and invited customers to save their receipts and check that their items were bought at the lowest price.

Rivals claimed that information captured by the comparison site could not guarantee an accurate reflection of the price of goods and could be unreliable, that the brand collected price information at differing times from each supermarket, when prices could vary, and that Asda has excluded some own brand and branded products from the price comparison data.

It was also claimed that non-food products were excluded.

Morrisons also challenged whether the adverts were misleading because it understood that own label fresh meat was excluded from the offer, as were non-grocery products and that World Cup related products featured were also exclusive to Asda.

Morrisons and Tesco also claimed that the adverts were misleading as Asda was generally cheaper than the rivals, with Morrison’s also challenging that one of the adverts failed to provide clarification of the products featured or explain that some items were excluded from the guarantee.

The ASA ruled that the Asda Price Guarantee was not misleading, and that the company had ‘provided enough evidence’ that showed own label fresh meat was included in the office, but a comparison had not been made with Morrisons because the nearest product identified did not meet the comparison criteria.

Asda also explained that its method of price collecting saw it compare rival prices through their online presence while also shelf price scanning the labels of Morrisons products.

The ASA also explained that Asda had been told through Clearcast not to suggest its price guarantee applied to all items, including non-grocery items and specifically excluded items or that its claims referred to shopping in general.

The campaign was ruled not to be misleading by the ASA and allowed to continue.

Source : The Drum/Advertising

01 February 2011

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