Sainsbury's ordered to change 'misleading' Brand Match ads

The supermarket has been ordered to change its ads for the promotion after the advertising watchdog ruled some were misleading.

Sainsbury’s has been told to change the advertising campaign for its Brand Match promotion by the advertising watchdog.

The ad campaign claimed that shoppers wouldn’t pay more for brands at Sainsbury’s than they would at Asda or Tesco, and that if prices were cheaper at the two rival supermarkets they would be given a voucher for the difference.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 20 complaints, including one from Tesco. They included complaints that the fact that the offer was only available if shoppers spent £20 or more wasn’t made clear. And some people also claimed that the ads did not make it clear that the saving was calculated across all of the brands bought by a shopper, not just individual goods.

The ASA ruled that, because shoppers might pay more for brands than they would have done at Asda or Tesco before receiving a Brand Match voucher, the ads were contradictory and misleading.

It also said the condition that shoppers had to spend at least £20 to qualify for the Brand Match voucher was contradicted by claims on the ads that “You won't pay more for brands than you would at Asda or Tesco”.

And it ruled that the fact that the brand savings were calculated across all of the brands purchased by a shopper, rather than individual goods – so any that were cheaper at Sainsbury’s would be offset against any that were more expensive – was also not made clear.

The ASA also noted that customers had to spend at least £10 within two weeks of receiving a Brand Match voucher to be able to use it.

It has told Sainsbury’s to change the ads to “ensure all significant conditions of promotions were made clear in future”.

Sainsbury’s said: “We do not believe that our customers have been misled but we have already changed our current advertising to reflect the concerns raised."

It said it has so far issued nearly 100 million Brand Match coupons.

For more on the supermarkets' attempts to beat each other on price, read The big supermarkets' price checking services compared

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