Sainsbury’s steps up Tesco price match battle with ads

Sainsbury’s has further intensified its attack on Tesco’s price matching scheme by launching a campaign trumpeting the values of its own ‘Brand Match’ just days after asking for a judicial review of the advertising regulator’s decision to reject its complaint about ads for Tesco’s ‘Price Promise’.


Press ads launched today (1 November) highlight the “values” behind Sainsbury’s own brand products. They use the strapline “same price, different values” and pictures of two identical cups of tea or glasses of water to highlight the difference between Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s products.

The ads go on to claim that Sainsbury’s “Basics” tea is Fairtrade, where Tesco’s ‘Everyday Value’ tea is not. A similar ad for bottled mineral water claims that Sainsbury’s Basic range comes from a spring in Yorkshire whereas Tesco’s starts at the mains supply.

The ads read: “Now that Tesco claim to be matching Sainsbury’s prices, you might be forgiven for thinking there’s no real difference between the two.

“They cost exactly the same. But the difference between them is clear. #ValueOfValues.”

Sainsbury’s launched a campaign with the same strapline trumpeting the transparency of its price match scheme in July after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rejected its complaint that an earlier campaign for Price Promise was misleading. The latest ads come after Sainsbury’s move to take legal action over the ASA’s decision.

The supermarket is asking for a judicial review that it believes will take into account “all relevant factors” including ethics, provenance and price. It has also launched a campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #valueofvalues to find out its customers views.

Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s group commercial director, said in a blog post: “We’ve all got rather used to supermarket price wars. But there’s a new fight we’re going to pick. One that’s absolutely fundamental to the way we want to do business, and to what consumers have the right to know about the food they buy. It’s an argument about the value of values.”

In response to Sainsbury’s decision to ask for a judicial review, Tesco claimed that its brand match scheme offers customers “reassurance” because it covers fresh food and own brand, not just branded goods.

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