Supermarket giant Tesco has launched a national press campaign promising to pay repair bills of motorists affected by contaminated petrol bought from its forecourts.
It has been forced to act after thousands of motorists across the South-east reported problems after filling up with unleaded petrol. Tesco is running ads that apologise to its customers and say: "We’d like to promise to pay for the repairs".
A company spokesman says: "This is an exceptional circumstance and we felt it was proper that we ran the ads. We take what happened last week very seriously."
Jonathan Gabay, an expert at consultant Brand Forensics, says the retailer is brave to make such a pledge: "This is a sensible move by the brand but what is particularly striking is that Tesco is also promising to pay for the repairs."
He warns further distrust of the brand could be created if motorists making claims are not compensated and if petrol prices increase as a result of the contamination.
"Tesco must follow its own principle that ‘Every Little Helps’ by maintaining prices as they were prior to the crises," says Gabay.
"It also needs to keep its advertised promise to repair vehicles, without wriggling out of its commitment through too many caveats and conditions," he adds.