Asda slashes Savlon price to prove a point

Asda has cut the price of Savlon Antiseptic cream by half to make a point about price-fixing within the healthcare industry, which it criticises as a “rip off”.

Savlon Antiseptic, distributed by Novartis Consumer Health, is free from the practice known as resale price maintenance (RPM), unlike another Savlon product, Savlon Wound Wash, which must be sold at a fixed price.

Asda wants to draw attention to these inconsistencies and yesterday (Tuesday) put up posters in its 217 stores saying: “It’s a rip off. We think price-fixing should be abolished. Isn’t it funny how this (Savlon Wound Wash) is price-fixed? Isn’t it funny how this (Savlon Antiseptic) isn’t?”

Asda staff in the healthcare aisles also wore badges saying “It’s a rip off! Ask me about price fixing”.

Asda will sell Novartis Consumer Health’s 500ml Savlon Antiseptic Cream at 95p instead of its 1.89 recommended retail price. The Wound Wash is fixed at 2.25.

Asda’s chief executive Allan Leighton says: “Under the current system manufacturers seem to be free to suit themselves and single out products for price-fixing without rhyme or reason.”

The supermarket’s campaign coincided with the first Competition Bill committee session. Asda wants an amendment to the Bill which will refer the issue of resale price maintenance to the Office of Fair Trading for investigation for the first time in 25 years.

Asda has previously launched price-cutting campaigns on books, comics, magazines, perfumes, skincare and feminine hygiene products.

It was forced to reinstate prices on vitamins in 1995 after manufacturers took out injunctions.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here