Tesco/Boots price war flares after ASA ruling

The price war between Boots and Tesco intensified this week after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that Boots was right to claim consumers could save £51 a year by buying toiletries at its stores rather than at Tesco.

Tesco objected to a Boots press campaign in regional newspapers that claimed consumers could save money if they took advantage of Boots’ special offers, rather than Tesco’s Everyday Low Price products. The ad was created by J Walter Thompson. Tesco argued the comparison was “unfair and unclear”, but the argument was dismissed by the ASA, which said the comparison system Boots used on 18 products was clearly stated. Boots used market research company Taylor Nelson Sofres to help it make the calculations for its ad. The £51 figure was based on a household of two adults and two teenagers.

The decision comes days after Tesco announced £70m in price cuts on more than 1,500 food and non-food lines.

Tesco has also been forced to defend its pricing strategy this week after it emerged the company has been raising the cost of hundreds of products, apparently contradicting its low-price strategy. Tesco says the increases have taken place where discount offers were coming to an end.

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