Coffee shop chain Costa could face censure over its advertising claim that “seven out of 10 coffee lovers prefer Costa”, according to press reports.

The Advertising Standards Authority looked into the claim following a complaint by rival chain Starbucks, which objected to an ad campaign based on a survey of 334 coffee shop users. The ad stated: “Sorry Starbucks – the people have voted.”

Starbucks pointed out that the “seven out of 10” claim only related to cappuccino, which was a small part of its coffee sales, and was therefore not representative.

The coffee giant also said Costa’s campaign “could be understood as a preference claim against all coffee drinks or even more widely as a claim against all aspects of its business”, The Times reports.

Costa Coffee offers pick-me-up for Whitbread (3/3/09)