Napolina banned ad ASA

Source: ASA

The ASA considered that the promotion was ‘misleading, and likely to cause unnecessary disappointment for those entering’

Napolina has had its wrist slapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for “significantly” exaggerating the likelihood consumers would win prizes in a promotion it ran with Tesco.

The Princes-owned Italian ingredients brand gave just one competition entrant a £500 Tesco voucher, after advertising 250 £500 vouchers were “instantly” available in an in-store display and on its website, seen in January and February 2023.

The watchdog investigated two issues raised regarding the promotion. As only selected products in Napolina’s range were included in the promotion, complainants questioned whether the claim ‘Buy any Napolina product and scan the QR code to enter’ seen in the in-store ad was misleading and breached the code.

They also believed the ads did not make clear that all 250 prizes might not be won.

The ASA did not uphold the first issue raised, as it “considered that consumers would expect, from that text, that any Napolina product available in a participating Tesco store would be included in the promotion”, which was true in this case.

However, it upheld the second issue raised on the basis that “the short terms and conditions” featuring across the in-store display and Napolina’s website “gave no information on how the promotion worked, or otherwise explained how likely a consumer was to win a prize”.

Information provided by Napolina owner Princes showed that consumers had a 1-in-6,420 chance of winning a prize – with the winner selected randomly by a mathematical algorithm.

According to Princes, only 5,404 entries were received, which was a “much lower figure than expected”.

As a result, only one of the £500 voucher prizes had been won out of the advertised £125,000 total prize fund available.

Princes stressed this outcome was “in line with the algorithm expectations”. However, the ASA ruled the ads for the promotion “significantly exaggerated the likelihood of consumers’ chances of winning prizes, and because they did not make clear how prizes were allocated, or otherwise manage prospective participants’ expectations of the likelihood of winning”.

“We considered that the promotion was misleading, and likely to cause unnecessary disappointment for those entering,” it stated. As a result, it was found in breach of the CAP Code.

The Grocer understands Tesco was not involved with the administration of the prize draw.

“When it comes to promotions, our rules are clear,” said ASA senior media relations officer Toby King.

“We expect advertisers to ensure they are run fairly and honestly. A large part of that is not misleading consumers, which includes making sure all relevant terms and conditions are included.”

A Napolina spokeswoman said: “Careful consideration is given to all our promotional activity to ensure compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.

“We acknowledge the ruling of the Advertising Standards Agency and abide by their judgment. We will ensure that the guidance provided by ASA in this matter is reflected in our future promotional materials.”