A Lidl advert has been banned after a complaint from rival supermarket Tesco.
The Lidl advert claimed a trolley of shopping was £46 cheaper than Tesco, showing similarly layed-out trolleys labelled ‘Lidl £67’ and ‘Tesco £113’.
A headline said ‘healthy savings’ followed by ‘save £46 versus the same shop in Tesco’.
But Tesco complained to watchdogs saying the ad, published in the Belfast Telegraph in January, was misleading because branded products at Tesco were compared with own brand products at Lidl, even when in some cases Lidl sold the branded product.
Lidl bosses stated the ad compared products with ‘the same purpose and which met the same need’ on the basis of price.
They claimed around 40 per cent of the comparisons made in the ad were with Tesco own-brand products.
Following an investigation, Tesco’s complaint was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The ad was found to breach rules regarding misleading advertising, comparisons with identifiable competitors and price comparisons.
Lidl was banned from running the ad again, and the firm was also warned to ensure that savings claims did not “mislead” in future.
An ASA spokesman said: “We considered consumers would expect the comparison to have been made between the most comparable items, an expectation that we considered was reinforced by the ‘versus the same shop’ wording.
“We acknowledged that advertisers could legitimately make price comparisons between branded and non-branded products as long as the basis of the comparison was clear.
“The ad made no direct reference to a comparison between branded and non-branded goods. In addition, in many cases Tesco sold own-brand equivalents that the price-conscious consumers to whom the ad was addressed were likely to regard as the most relevant comparator products.
“We therefore considered that the basis of the comparison was unclear.”
He added: “The ad must not appear again in the form complained of.
“We told Lidl to ensure savings claims did not mislead by, for example, not comparing the most relevant comparator products; not making clear when branded products were being compared with non-branded; not ensuring price comparison data was up to date and not stating when the comparison had been carried out.”
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