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Misleading Aldi savings ads banned

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
29/06/2016
Three Aldi adverts, which claimed customers could make large savings by shopping there rather than at competitors, have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The cut-price supermarket’s adverts which appeared on TV and print were found to be misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and must not appear in the same format again.

One advert showed a fridge, worktop and cupboards with groceries and a label stated the shopping cost £98 at the big four supermarkets whereas the items cost £70 at Aldi, representing “seriously big savings this January.”

Another ad referred to a Morrisons ‘price crunch’ campaign which showed a basket of goods from the supermarket (£18.19) and was compared against a basket at Lidl (£11.42) which has “everyday low prices.”

The final TV ad showed a woman being amazed by the 35% saving made by shopping at Lidl (£33.04) compared with the £53.35 price at the other big four supermarkets.

Within each of the ads, Aldi said “other supermarkets may sell ‘own brand’ products at different prices”.

But Morrisons and two members of the public complained about the adverts, stating the ads didn’t make it sufficiently clear that they included comparisons between Aldi’s own-brand products and branded products and they questioned whether the price comparisons were misleading.

In its response, Aldi said it did not believe consumers would assume that the savings shown were representative of anything other than the specific comparison shown.

It added that it believed consumers would also understand that Morrisons and the other competitor supermarkets stocked own-brand products which met the same need and would likely be cheaper.

However, the ASA upheld the complaints, stating that consumers would understand from the ads that by swapping from shopping at their usual big supermarket to shopping at Aldi they could make significant savings, and that the level of savings highlighted in the ads were representative of the level of savings which could be achieved by the average shopper.

“Consumers would therefore expect the products selected to be a fair and representative selection of products typically purchased,” the ASA said.

As a result, the ads must not appear again in the form complained of.

The ASA told Aldi to ensure that when making multi-product comparisons in future, it must not imply that it’s comparing typical weekly shops unless they held evidence that the comparator products (including the mix of branded and own-brand) were a fair and truly representative selection.

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