Sainsbury’s has hit out at Tesco’s ‘unfair’ Price Promise promotion as the Advertising Standards Authority appears set to dismiss its complaint over the ads.
Sainsbury’s group commercial director Mike Coupe questioned the credibility and veracity of Tesco’s comparison claims in the price promotions in a stinging attack on the grocer’s website.
The ASA is poised to dismiss Sainsbury’s formal complaint made earlier this year that Tesco’s Price Promise was unfair, Sky News reported. Sainsbury’s claims Tesco’s claims its own label products were cheaper was misleading.
Morrisons also considered lodging a complaint but did not formally make one.
Coupe said: “[Customers] tell us that food integrity matters to them just as much whether they are well-off or struggling to make ends meet.
“Well, it is obvious to us, and you’d have thought it would be obvious to Tesco. They have recently begun an attempt at recasting their ethical image and pushing fresh food credentials in a high-profile marketing campaign which encourages us to ‘love every mouthful’.
“But there’s a basic contradiction between this advertising and the way they’re operating their ‘Price Promise’. We’ve made a formal complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority about this. The arguments Tesco have used to defend their position include the suggestion that customers don’t actually care all that much about the provenance of their food or the ethical aspects of food production.
“We’re pretty sure that customers would disagree.”
Tesco is attempting to improve its food credentials in the wake of the horse meat scandal and last week launched its Love Every Mouthful campaign to reinforce its message.
Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King deemed the promotion “inherently unfair”. The grocer’s own price-matching scheme, Brand Match, has been a key element of the retailer’s continued like-for-like growth.
Coupe added: “The Tesco Price Promise claims to be a fair comparison that makes sense to shoppers. Unfortunately it is anything but. By failing to compare own-brands fairly it is taking power away from customers to make accurate and informed choices about the food they put in their baskets. Worse, it undermines their ability to make a choice based on the values they believe in.”