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    ASA rules Aldi’s Christmas dinner ad misleading

    Signage is pictured outside an Aldi Local store on Kilburn High Road in London on January 2, 2023. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES/AFP via Getty Images)

    The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled against discount retailer Aldi, upholding a complaint against their Christmas dinner advertisement published on 6 December 2023.

    The ruling addressed three key issues raised by supermarket group Sainsbury’s regarding the advertisement’s claims and verifiability.

    The wrap-around four-page national press ad featured an image of a traditional roast turkey and various Christmas dinner staples, alongside claims such as “THE HOME OF BRITAIN’S CHEAPEST CHRISTMAS DINNER.” The advertisement also compared prices with Sainsbury’s, asserting Aldi’s Christmas dinner came in at over 20 per cent cheaper than Sainsbury’s.

    In response to the complaints, Aldi defended their claims, stating they relied on independent third-party data from Which? for substantiation. However, the ASA found several aspects of the advertisement misleading and lacking in verifiability.

    Firstly, the ASA ruled that consumers could be misled by the claim “THE HOME OF BRITAIN’S CHEAPEST CHRISTMAS DINNER,” as it failed to adequately represent the basis of the comparison. Although Aldi technically offered the lowest prices, the ASA noted that the difference between Aldi and other competitors, particularly rival discounter Lidl, was marginal, with the difference being of just 4p, rendering the claim misleading.

    Furthermore, the ASA found fault with Aldi’s failure to provide clear signposting for consumers to verify the comparison with competitors, as required by advertising regulations. The advertisement’s reference to Which? did not adequately direct consumers to comprehensive verification information, such as product weights at each supermarket.

    Lastly, the ASA ruled that Aldi’s claim of a “2022 PRICE LOCKED” was misleading, as it did not cover all the products featured in the advertisement or included in the comparison. The omission of certain items from the price lock undermined the claim’s credibility and contributed to the overall misleading nature of the advertisement.

    The ASA has instructed Aldi not to use the advertisement again in its current form. Additionally, Aldi has been directed to ensure future price comparisons with competitors are substantiated and clearly presented, providing consumers with sufficient information for verification.

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