Asda has found itself in hot water over misleading promotions for the second time in a week, this time after a probe by the UK’s advertising watchdog.
An online sales promotion for Asda Choco Squares cereal, which had been running since July last year, stated ‘£1.38’ or ‘3 for £3’.
However, Asda admitted selling the product at 97p per box for more than six months previously.
In its ruling, the ASA echoed last week’s judgement by the Competition & Markets Authority that named and shamed Asda following the super-complaint by Which?
Misleading savings from multibuy campaigns were named by the CMA as one of the tactics Asda had promised to stop.
Asda claimed the ad communicated the current selling price of £1.38 for an individual pack and that all other information was present in the ad in order for a customer to make an informed decision.
It also said the ad did not make any implied comparison with the product’s past price and said a customer could choose to purchase one pack of Choco Squares product for £1.38, or choose to buy three boxes for £3.
But the ASA found consumers were likely to understand that the individual pack price of £1.38 was both the current and the usual selling price, and that the promotional price of three for £3 therefore represented value for money when multiple items were purchased.
“We considered the promotion was likely to encourage consumers to purchase multiple packs of Choco Squares when previously they might have purchased only one, based on the ad’s suggestion that a genuine saving was available,” it said in a statement.
After finding the ad in breach of the CAP Code, the ASA said it must not appear again in its current form, adding: “We told Asda to ensure their future promotions did not mislead about the savings consumers could achieve.”