The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has told Morrisons not to repeat the adverts for its Match & More until it has provided consumers with clearer information on its price-match scheme, following a complaint by Aldi.
It advised Morrisons to update its website to contain sufficient information so consumers can see the basis on which the supermarket makes the comparisons and find out which items were actually compared.
The ruling today saw the ASA investigate five issues, four of which were not upheld and one of which was upheld.
The ASA received a total of 19 complaints against the adverts for its Match & More scheme. This included a TV ad featuring Ant and Dec and a four page regional newspaper which included the text “we’re the only supermarket to price match Aldi and Lidl… and Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s and Asda.”
Aldi along with various members of the public complained that they believed that Morrisons did not make it clear how Match & More worked; the relevant verification information was not sufficient; the TV ad was misleading because it did not make it clear that the minimum spend was £15 and because it was not clear the credit would be awarded in points rather than cash and redeemed on future purchases. Two members of the public also challenged whether the TV ad was misleading as it did not make clear that points would be awarded for the overall different on an entire shop.
The ASA ruled that the ads did not “misleadingly omit information or give a misleading impression on how the price-match scheme worked.” It also found that the £15 minimum spend was made clear in the TV advert as it was on screen for 20 seconds of the 30-second advert and was easy to read. It also rejected the accusation that it was unclear that the credit would be awarded in points on future purchases as there was text on the TV advert and small print on the newspaper adverts. The ASA said: “We considered viewers would understand those points could only be used in store and redeemed against future purchases.”
And on the final complaint the ASA said it was clear the price match was across the entire shop as Dec referenced the “comparable grocery shop”.
Morrisons group corporate services director, Martyn Jones said: “The decision, by the ASA, confirms the integrity of our price matching against our competitors including Aldi.”
On the website ruling of the ASA he added: “This was a reasonable request which we quickly resolved. Shoppers with a receipt have always been able to discuss their savings with our customer services team but we have also made information clearer on our website. Overall the ASA’s ruling is a convincing outcome.”
Aldi welcomed the news that Morrisons had been instructed not to run the adverts.
“This supports our view that these adverts did not provide consumers with sufficient price comparison data to enable them to make an informed choice,” said Tony Baines, joint managing director of Buying at Aldi.
“Our own analysis shows that the Morrisons Match & More scheme did not price match Aldi. In our view complex price promotions and price matching schemes of this nature are confusing, are not transparent and do not serve the best interests of consumers.”