Aldi Ads Banned For Misleading CustomersJune 30, 2016
Watchdogs have banned a series of ads in which supermarket chain Aldi compared the price of a basket of their own-label goods with a rival’s branded items.
Morrisons and two members of the public complained that the TV and press campaigns were misleading as they didn’t make the difference between the groceries being matched clear enough.
The “Big 4” supermarket baskets in the ads were made up of branded products plus a few own-brand or unbranded products such as fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and coleslaw.
Aldi claimed that customers would understand that the comparison was with the specific goods shown in the ads, pointing to a disclaimer that the supermarkets may sell own-brand goods cheaper.
The discounter also said it was wrong to assume their own-brand goods were of a lower quality than branded items, citing the example of their spreadable butter, which had a higher butter content than the Morrison’s equivalent.
However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld the complaints, saying consumers would expect the products chosen to representative those typically purchased.
“We had not been provided with any evidence from Aldi that the comparator shops (including the mix of branded and own-brand) were a fair and truly representative selection of goods typically purchased,” the ruling said.
In addition, it considered it “unlikely that price-conscious consumers to whom the ads were targeted would purchase such a large proportion of branded goods when own-brand goods were typically available and would generally be cheaper.”
The ASA rejected Aldi’s claim that their own-brand goods should be compared with branded goods in terms of quality because the focus of the ads was on price, with no reference was made to quality.
Aldi has been instructed not to imply that they are comparing typical weekly shops when making such comparisons unless they have evidence that the products concerned were a fair and truly representative selection.