Morrisons has had the validity of its Match & More price match scheme cleared by the advertising watchdog following complaints from rival Aldi.
- Morrisons wins on key issue over validity of price comparisons
- Both grocers claim victory after ASA ruling
- Morrisons told to better explain mechanics of scheme on website
Aldi lodged four objections with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over claims made in two adverts about Match & More, which is the only supermarket loyalty scheme to price match against Aldi and Lidl.
Three out of Aldi’s four objections were thrown out by the ASA. The only one upheld related to Morrisons not properly explaining the mechanics of the scheme on its website.
Crucially for Morrisons’ loyalty scheme, the ASA dismissed a complaint that any comparisons made as part of the scheme were misleading.
Morrisons uses a price-matching company to covertly check prices of Aldi products twice a week in order to make price comparisons against its own products.
In its ruling the ASA stated: “Evidence demonstrated that Morrisons compared products that met the same need or were intended for the same purpose, and the product matches were consistently applied in line with consumer expectations.”
Both grocers are claiming victory in the dispute following the ASA publishing its ruling this morning.
As part of the ruling Morrisons will need to better explain the mechanics of the Match & More scheme on its website and better signpost the URL to the explanation on the adverts if it wishes to run them again.
Morrisons group corporate services director Martyn Jones said: “The decision by the Advertising Standards Authority confirms the integrity of our price matching against our competitors including Aldi.”
Jones added the requirement to better explain how the scheme works “was a reasonable request which we quickly resolved”.
He said: “Shoppers with a receipt have always been able to discuss their savings with our customer services team but we have also made information clearer on our website. Overall the ASA’s ruling is a convincing outcome.”
However, Aldi is also claiming victory over the one of the five complaints it made that were held.
Other complaints made by Aldi that were overturned included concerns over the Match & More scheme requiring customers to spend over £15 to qualify and whether it was clear credit would be awarded in points rather than cash.
Aldi joint managing director of buying Tony Baines said: “We are pleased with the ASA’s decision to instruct Morrisons not to run the Match & More adverts again in their current form. This supports our view that these adverts did not provide consumers with sufficient price comparison data to enable them to make an informed choice.
“Our own analysis shows that the Morrisons Match & More scheme did not price match Aldi. In our view complex price promotions and price matching schemes of this nature are confusing, are not transparent and do not serve the best interests of consumers.”