The ad, which stated “log on and you’ll get your meal plans and shopping list designed by a professional nutritionist”, was branded as misleading, as it did not mention the required weekly subscription of £2.99.
The ASA said an ad could be misleading if it caused viewers to waste time making inquiries, only to find limitations which would have discouraged them from responding in the first place.
Eight people complained and the ad was found in breach of CAP Broadcast TV advertising standards and taken off the air until alterations were made.
Tesco and its agency Lowe said it never claimed it was a free service, and that consumers should expect to pay for slimming services.
They added that the point of the ad was to direct viewers to the website, where the fee was clearly explained.
Baugur formerly withdrew from a bidding consortium - including Apax Partners, Barclays Capital and Robert Tchenguiz - for Somerfield this week. There had been tense discussions after Baugur chief Jon Asgeir Johannesson was charged with fraud. Rival bidder London & Regional was believed to be close to completing due diligence.
Tesco will remain the number three retailer in western and central Europe in 2009 but its expansion plans could be scuppered, two separate reports have found. Planet Retail and consultants AT Kearney said the region was in danger of saturation.
Canterbury Foods has warned that its full-year results will be worse than expected after a poor first-half for its meat division. The market for burgers was in decline and the group had suffered a net loss of contracts and price deflation.
Locals have stepped up their fight against a planned 78,988 sq ft supermarket in Epsom, Surrey, which is generating interest from Tesco and Asda. Campaigners said the store would destroy local trade, increase traffic and interfere with TV reception.
Protesters in Waltham Abbey, Hertfordshire, are celebrating a mini-victory after Tesco’s application for 24-hour opening of a new store was rejected. It has permission to open until 11pm on weekdays, 10pm on Saturdays and 11am-5pm on Sundays, subject to review.
US grocery chain Farm Fresh has launched a four-month pilot at four of its stores for the biometric payment technology Pay By Touch. Customers pay for goods using a finger scan linked to their bank account.
Baugur drops out
Meat division loss
No 24-hour opening
Pay by Touch trial