Asda Advert Called Misleading By Watchdog After Argos Cries Foul

Asda: Not Saving You Money Everyday - Argos Takes On Asda In Advertising Claim And Wins

Argos has won a pricing battle with Asda over a TV advert that claimed the supermarket chain stocked cheaper goods than the high street catalogue retailer.

A television advert running in October 2011 claimed an independent price checker had found Asda 551 branded products cheaper than Argos, with Argos outdoing Asda on just 139 products.

Argos rebuffed the advert's claims, saying Asda actually offered far more identical branded products than referenced in the ad, and that more than 139 of those products were cheaper in Argos and took its complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.

It also took issue with some of the electronic items which appeared in the advert, saying the ad did not include information about the number of electronic products included in the comparison, and that most of those shown were actually cheaper at Argos.

Argos also claimed that due to the volatile nature of competitive pricing, it was inaccurate to use the price data since all prices could not be guaranteed to remain the same for more than 24 hours, although the ASA said it would not recognise this complaint as Asda had clearly labelled the date on which the comparison was based.

However, the ASA did uphold the rest of Argos's complaint, saying it was concerned that not all significant conditions to the comparison between products had been included in the TV ad.

In addition, the watchdog did not like that the terms and conditions on Asda's website did not include full details of the limitations to and exclusions from the comparison.

Although Asda noted in its terms and conditions on its website that delivery charges might apply to products, the ASA said the wording did not make clear that products would be excluded from the comparison if free delivery was offered at one retailer but not the other.

The ASA ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form.

In its adjudication it wrote: "We told Asda to ensure their price comparisons stated all significant limitations and qualifications, and made the basis of the comparison clear.

"We also told them to ensure that all aspects of their price comparisons could be substantiated and were not misleading."

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