Aldi wins advertising complaint against Tesco following series of rulings against discounters

By Josie Clarke, PA Consumer Correspondent

Aldi has won an advertising complaint against rival Tesco following a series of rulings against the discounters about price comparisons.

Aldi lodged complaints about four national press ads and a television ad for Tesco which ran in October last year and included price comparisons with it and fellow discounter Lidl.

The television ad, seen on November 2 last year, featured three trolleys filled with products and showed Tesco’s trolley to be cheaper than Aldi’s or Lidl’s.

One of the Tesco ads (ASA/PA)

Aldi complained that the ads were misleading because the baskets were entirely comprised of Tesco own-brand products and did not therefore constitute typical shops, and were only available in selected English Tesco stores.

Tesco said the baskets and trolleys in the ads did not explicitly or implicitly represent typical shops and did not contain general savings claims.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the ads gave the overall impression consumers could save money by swapping from shopping at Aldi or Lidl to buying from the ‘Exclusively at Tesco’ range.

The ASA said: “While we were satisfied with the basis upon which the products to compare had been selected, we were concerned that the ‘Exclusively At Tesco’ products were not widely available throughout Tesco stores.

“We therefore concluded that all of the ads were misleading because they did not make clear that none of the products from the ‘Exclusively At Tesco” range were available in Tesco Express or Metro stores and that the specific combination of products upon which the savings were calculated were available in fewer than half of their larger stores.”

The ASA added: “We told Tesco to make clear that no products from the ‘Exclusively At Tesco” range were available in Tesco Express or Metro stores, to make clear the limitations on availability at their larger stores of the specific combination of products upon which the savings were calculated, and to make clear if the specific combination of products upon which the savings were based were not available in any Tesco stores in Northern Ireland.”

Last week, Tesco successfully argued to have an Iceland ad banned over “misleading” price comparisons.

Last month, the ASA banned a Lidl ad for misleading customers over the potential savings they could make compared with Tesco and upheld a complaint a month earlier by Tesco that Aldi had unfairly skewed a price comparison in the discounter’s favour.