To now, brands have only been able to make price-based comparisons with products deemed “identical or substantially equivalent” but a change to the Committee of Advertising Practise’s (CAP) broadcast and non-broadcast codes mean they will be able to compare prices with products meeting the same need.
This means own-label supermarket brands will now be able to make comparisons with branded products, while budget brands could compare prices with high end and luxury products.
Ads, however, will have to make it clear comparisons are being made on the basis of price and not product.
Price comparisons are often used by supermarkets to trump rivals on value.
In a document detailing the change, which is effective from today (20 February), CAP claims the change will “benefit both consumers and advertisers whilst retaining the robust protection in the codes to prevent misleading advertising.”
Elsewhere, CAP and broadcast equivalent BCAP codes have also been changed to allow business to business brands to point out prices exclude VAT as long as ads target businesses and not consumers.