The Advertising Standards Authority has banned two regional press ads for Lidl for making misleading savings claims after rival discounter Aldi challenged the claims in the ads.
The ads, seen in the Daily Record newspaper on 5 March and 12 March last year, featured a selection of products with price comparison to Tesco.
Aldi alleged that the savings claims could not be substantiated and the basis of the comparisons in ads were not clear
Responding to the complaint, Lidl said the ads were specific comparisons of the products depicted and listed in detail in the verification information, with those at Tesco, adding that it was not their intention to make a general savings claim against Tesco in the ad.
They retailer added that they believed the ads were clear that the comparison was of a mix of branded and non-branded products that were related to Scotland.
The ASA agreed with Lidl on the question of clarity with respect to the basis of comparison, but ruled that the ads did not make sufficiently clear that the 30%/35% savings related only to the specific selection of products shown.
“We considered consumers (in Scotland) would be likely to understand the savings referred to price differences offered by the two supermarkets more widely, rather than being specific only to the example basket of goods, and that the same level of savings could be achieved more generally in a typical weekly shop,” the regulator said in its ruling.
“Because we had not seen evidence that this general level of savings could ordinarily be achieved, we considered the ads were likely to mislead.”
The ASA ordered that the ads must not appear again in the form complained of and has asked Lidl to ensure their advertising made sufficiently clear where savings claims, including percentage savings claims, were limited to a specific comparison.