aldi prosecco

Aldi’s prosecco ads attracted complaints and led to a rebuke by the ASA

Lidl has been rebuked by the Advertising Standards Authority after being taken by surprise by the demand for discounted prosecco on a summer bank holiday.

Six complaints claimed a promotion offering a six-bottle case for £20 had broken advertising rules because stores ran out, showing Lidl had not made a reasonable estimate of demand.

Another two complained a stated limit of six per customer could have referred to six cases rather than bottles.

Ads featured on Lidl’s website, social media,in-store leaflets and radio promoting six 75cl bottles of Allini Prosecco at the discounted price in an offer limited to the bank holiday weekend of 26 and 27 August last year.

The offer made national newspapers and prompted an ‘unparalleled uplift in sales’ according to the ruling. Stores ran out even though Lidl had bought 54,000 cases, 63% more than sold during a similar promotion on red wine.

The ASA concluded Lidl had made a reasonable estimate of demand as required by advertising code and ‘had only been unable to supply that demand because of an unexpectedly high response beyond their control’.

But the authority ruled the discounter had not complied with a requirement to tell consumers demand could not be met.

“Given that Lidl had promoted the offer on their website and social media, we considered that they should have used those same channels to inform consumers that stock had become limited,” the ASA said.

The authority also ruled that in-store leaflets stating “Maximum six of each item per customer” could be taken to mean “that consumers could purchase a maximum of six cases of prosecco (36 bottles), when that was not the case”.

Meanwhile the website and radio ads didn’t make the condition sufficiently clear, according to the ruling.

A seventh complaint, claiming a usual price quoted in the ads of £31.50 for six bottles was misleading, was rejected by the ASA.

The ruling means the ads must not appear again in their current form.