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Lidl and Laybuy ads banned by watchdog

Written by: Emma Lunn
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an advert by Lidl for making misleading price claims, and an advert by Laybuy which failed to make it clear that buy now pay later (BNPL) was a form of credit.

The Lidl adverts claimed that people could make big savings compared with Tesco – but they were banned after a complaint from rival supermarket Aldi.

The first advert, seen in The Daily Record Great Scot newspaper on 5 March 2021, featured a selection of products with a large roundel containing text that stated, “Save over 35% at Lidl”. Further text stated, “Lidl £22.92 Tesco £36.39 … Great Scot! At Lidl you can save a lot.”

The second advert, seen in The Daily Record Great Scot newspaper on 12 March 2021, featured the same selection of products as in the first advert except it excluded a beef roasting joint. A large roundel contained text stating, “Save over 30% at Lidl”. Further text stated, “Lidl £16.82 Tesco £24.39”.

The ASA said it didn’t consider that the ads, which ran in Scotland, made it “sufficiently clear” that the savings related only to the specific selection of products shown.

A statement from the advertising watchdog said: “We considered consumers (in Scotland) would be likely to understand the savings referred to price differences offered by the two supermarkets more widely, rather than being specific only to the example basket of goods, and that the same level of savings could be achieved more generally in a typical weekly shop. Because we had not seen evidence that this general level of savings could ordinarily be achieved, we considered the ads were likely to mislead.”

The ASA also investigated three adverts – on, and on Instagram posts by Laura Whitmore and Ellie Austin-Williams – for BNPL firm Laybuy.

Two of the ads directed users to a ‘financial health check’ while the other described Laybuy as “the payment provider championing responsibility in the sector”.

A member of the public and campaign group Go Fund Yourself challenged whether the ads broke the advertising code by not making it sufficiently clear that the products offered by Laybuy were a form of credit.

The ASA said it did not consider that the ads made it sufficiently clear to consumers that Laybuy’s product was a BNPL service, or that its product was a form of credit. It told Laybuy to ensure that future ads made it explicitly clear to consumers that the company offered a BNPL product that was a form of credit.

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