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ASDA price guarantee: What an ASA ruling really means

2 February 2011

In the supermarket price war, Asda’s price guarantee is a major weapon. Asda, using a moneysupermarket.com comparison, offer to refund the difference if your shopping would have been cheaper elsewhere. But on Wednesday, the ASA ruled that some of the adverts for this promotion were misleading.

Interestingly, in upholding certain complaints, the ASA did not follow the advice which Asda had received from Clearcast.

We anticipate that this ruling will result in a lot of negative press for Asda. However, reading between the lines, the ASA only upheld four of the nine complaints made. They did not rule that the scheme could not continue to be advertised, or that Asda were more expensive than Tesco’s – they only ruled that the presentation of certain adverts must be changed, because they falsely implied Asda were generally cheaper or that the promotion covered items such as books.

This highlights the importance of taking advice, and being sure that your complaint can procure the desired outcome, before making it.

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