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Aldi falls foul of ASA as its 'misleading' savings ads get banned

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By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

June 29, 2016 | 3 min read

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a series of three “misleading” ads from bargain supermarket Aldi.

Aldi

Aldi has been hit by an ASA ban / Aldi

Two TV ads and one press ad, which were centred around comparing the price of goods to the ‘big four’ supermarkets fell foul of the watchdog after Morrisons and two members of the public complained that the campaigns did not make clear that Aldi’s own brand products were being compared with branded products.

The posters and video were created by Aldi’s incumbent agency McCann and claimed that a £70 shop would cost £98 at the ‘big four’ retailers, comparing a £33.04 Aldi basket with the corresponding basket of goods from its rivals, which it said would cost £53.35.

One of the press campaigns (like the one pictured below) featured two baskets side by side containing a range of products with text underneath that read: ‘When it comes to the crunch, Aldi win every time. Other supermarkets go up, down, all over the place. But Aldi have ‘everyday low prices’, so you know where you stand.’

aldi

Aldi argued that consumers would understand that Morrison's and the other competitor supermarkets stocked own-brand products which “met the same need and would likely be cheaper,” and contested that “there was a quantifiable difference in quality between the branded goods shown in the ads and Aldi’s own-brand products.”

However, all complaints were upheld by the regulator which said that while it acknowledged that Aldi stated they had not intended the comparisons to represent a 'typical' weekly shop, but to be a comparison between the pictured products only.

"Nonetheless, we considered that was how consumers would interpret the adverts rather than as a representation of the savings which could be made by switching from a largely branded shop to shopping in Aldi, and therefore assessed them on that basis,” it added.

It argued that because the ads implied that by swapping from their usual big supermarket to shopping at Aldi, consumers could make savings of the levels highlighted in the ads, that the marketing push was “misleading”.

The ad must not be shown again in its current form.

This is the latest spat with supermarkets complaining about each other to the ASA, earlier this year Tesco was forced to remove an ad for its Price Match scheme after rival Sainsbury's argued it was "misleading".

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