Ocado and Tesco both go on the defensive with campaign launches

Ocado, the online grocery service, and Tesco have ramped up their spat over pricing with both launching campaigns defending their strategies.

Tesco fuelled the row over the weekend with a full-page press ad that refuted Ocado’s claims that it matches Tesco on price. It invited consumers to check on an independent price-comparison website, using the headline “Ocadon’t”.

Ocado responded today (March 17) with an e-mail campaign to its subscribers explaining that it continually checked its prices against Tesco and updated accordingly. The online service says that Tesco might change its prices “to suit their own ends” but that “no matter what they do” Ocado would keep on checking and matching Tesco’s prices.

The dispute began last week over an Ocado press advert that claimed it can match Tesco’s prices on “all household brands”. Tesco rubbished the claims, saying it is still cheaper on 2,500 products and that Ocado is up to 65% more expensive on some products.

Tesco asked Ocado to withdraw the ads and threatened to make a complaint to the ASA if it refused.

On Friday, Ocado said that it “remained committed” to its Price Match initiative, believing it to be in the best interests of consumers and criticised Tesco for its “aggression”.

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