Tesco has struck a blow against Sainsbury’s successful Brand Match coupon scheme.

The advertising watchdog yesterday upheld a complaint by the UK’s largest retailer against a number of Sainsbury’s adverts touting Brand Match on TV, in print, online and at point of sale.

Sainsbury’s claim that shoppers “won’t pay more for brands than at Asda and Tesco” was found to be misleading. The Advertising Standards Authority said shoppers could indeed pay more, before receiving their coupon – and noted that a further purchase was necessary to redeem the coupon.

Furthermore, “in the context of ads about the Brand Match,” the Live Well for Less strapline implied branded goods were actually cheaper at Sainsbury’s, which instead was simply matching the prices of the other retailers.

Sainsbury’s also failed in some adverts to make clear the £20 minimum spend for shoppers to qualify for Brand Match.

In total, six issues were investigated, stemming from 20 complaints – comprising Tesco’s complaint and 19 complaints from consumers. Two complaints were upheld, two were partially upheld and a further two thrown out.

The ASA banned the ads from appearing in their current form and told Sainsbury’s “to ensure future ads did not imply consumers would not pay more, or would save money, if that was not the case”.

“We also told them to ensure all significant conditions of promotions were made clear in future,” the ASA said in its ruling.