Sainsbury’s has lodged an appeal after the Advertising Standards Authority rejected its complaint over a Tesco Price Promise advert.
The retailer had originally complained about a regional press advert for Tesco’s price-matching scheme, saying it did not compare attributes such as whether a product was British sourced or Fairtrade certified.
The ASA ruled last week its code required advertisers to compare goods which met the same need or intended purpose and that it “considered the same need test had been met” because “food such as meat, eggs, or fish were interchangeable”.
“We’ll be stating our customers’ case to the Independent Reviewer in the clearest possible terms”
Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s
Sainsbury’s said yesterday it was appealing the case to the ASA’s Independent Reviewer Sir Hayden Phillips.
“The support from customers as well as respected bodies such as the NFU and the Woodland Trust has been overwhelming – they agree with us that where our food comes from and how it is produced really do matter, and that Tesco should not be allowed to argue that they don’t,” said Sainsbury’s commercial director Mike Coupe.
“We’ll be stating our customers’ case to the Independent Reviewer in the clearest possible terms.”
According to the ASA, the appeal must be able to establish that “a substantial flaw of process or adjudication is apparent, or show that additional relevant evidence is available”.
Sainsbury’s launched a new press campaign on the day of the ASA’s decision highlighting what it believes to be the differences between its own-label products and Tesco’s, under the strapline: “Same price, different values.”
On Thursday, the NFU appeared to back Sainsbury’s stance. “We can only applaud Sainsbury’s for promoting its use of British-sourced produce. Comparing EU ham with ham produced in Britain is wrong and misleading to consumers,” said NFU director of policy Martin Haworth.
Tesco’s marketing director David Wood called its Price Promise scheme “innovative” in a blog post last week, and said it helped customers get better deals. “Customers love it because it genuinely helps them cut through lots of competing claims, offers and promotions, and it is good for our business because helping customers builds loyalty,” he said.