ASA bans ‘cheaper than John Lewis’ B&Q press ad

B&Q has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for a press ad that claimed a light could be bought at the retailer for 50 less than at John Lewis.

P7_B%26QUnder the headline “Why pay more?” it showed a brushed chrome ceiling spotlight costing £95 at John Lewis, against B&Q’s price £41.98.

But the products shown were different and John Lewis complained to the ASA that its light was “superior”. The authority says the ad contained a price promise that implied B&Q had compared the same – as opposed to similar – products, and has ordered that the ad must not appear again in its current form.

Separately, energy company npower has been ordered not to show a TV, press and internet campaign again because it was deemed “misleading” and breached codes on truthfulness and promotions.

The campaign, created by Beattie McGuinness Bungay, claimed that customers could “fix for free” their energy prices. However, complainants objected that the claim was misleading because some existing customers had to switch to a higher tariff to take advantage of the offer, and that terms and conditions were unclear.

A recruitment campaign for the Department of Health relating to social care in England escaped sanctions. One complaint was that the ads, created by Lowe London, misrepresented the type of care a person could expect to receive from a social care worker as well as the type of duties they would be expected to perform.

The ASA says the ads highlighted the “rewarding and positive” aspects of the job, but that was to be expected in a recruitment campaign.


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