Asda TV spot banned after Argos complaint

A TV spot for Asda that claimed the supermarket sold hundreds of branded products at cheaper prices than rival Argos has been banned after the high-street outlet complained it made misleading price comparisons.

AsdaPic

The advert, which aired last year (24 October), claimed that data from independent price checker Skuudle had revealed that Asda was cheaper on 531 branded products while Argos sold 139 cheaper branded products.

A voice over for the advert said: “Last Thursday, an independent price checker confirmed that Asda had this many branded products cheaper than Argos…including all these great electronic brands” as a box on screen read: “Asda 551 cheaper”.

Argos complained the price comparisons made in the TV spot were “unfair” and “misleading” because it believed it sold far more branded products cheaper than Asda claimed in the advert. It added that on the day the advert aired Argos was cheaper on 336 branded products, according to its own research. However, the same data revealed that Argos had undersold itself and was in fact cheaper on 846 products.

Additionally, the retailer said the commercial’s claim that “all these great electronics brands” were cheaper at Asda was misleading because it did not feature specific information about the number of electronic products included in the Asda comparison.

Asda argued that it had taken several measures such as looking at past ASA adjudications and putting terms and conditions on its website to ensure the advert was clear to consumers.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) concluded that the advert had not made it clear how the comparisons had been made. It said that the terms and conditions on the company’s website had also failed to include full details about the process.

Asda was also rapped for implying that all the electronic brands featured in the advert were cheaper than Argos. The company was found to be cheaper than the supermarket for some of the electronic products from the brands used in the ad.

The ASA concluded that the advert was misleading and ruled that it must not appear again in its current form.

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