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Tesco vs Sainsbury

Tesco and Sainsbury locked horns as the Advertising Standards Authority dismissed a complaint by Sainsbury that price comparison advertising run by Tesco was misleading, because it failed to take into account important product attributes.

The Advertising Standards Authority dismissed a complaint by Sainsbury’s regarding an advertisement used to launch Tesco’s ‘Price Promise’ campaign in March.


The advertising carried the slogan "You won't lose out on big brands, fresh food or own-label. If your comparable grocery shopping is cheaper at Asda, Sainsbury's or Morrisons, we'll give you a voucher for the difference at the checkout or online.”

Sainsbury claimed that the slogan was misleading because a number of important attributes had not been taken into account. The company recently launched a series of ads entitled “Same price, different values”, featuring bananas and ham rolls. In a company blog, Commercial Director, Mike Coupe, explained that the Tesco price comparison was “unfair” because the Sainsbury Basics Ham was British, whereas the Tesco Everyday Value Ham was “sourced somewhere in the EU”. 


Tesco Marketing Director, David Wood, said that the ASA ruling was correct because it stated:

“While we acknowledged there would be differences in animal welfare and country of origin for the ingredients, we were satisfied that Tesco had taken those elements into account when identifying and matching products and had compared on the basis of them meeting the same need.”

Needless to say, the Sainsbury position received full backing from the NFU and others representing British farming interests.