Aldi’s ‘cheapest Christmas dinner’ ad ruled ‘misleading’ by watchdog

An Aldi advert which claimed it was “Britain’s cheapest Christmas dinner” has been ruled “misleading” by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The advert, which was published on 6 December, claimed consumer group Which? found that Aldi’s Christmas dinner was more than 20% cheaper than at Sainsbury’s.

The newspaper ad stated: “Sainsbury’s £44.81”, “Aldi £33.80” and “Swap & Save over 20% on your Christmas dinner”.

Sainsbury’s reported it to the advertising watchdog on three separate counts, including that the price comparison claims were misleading and that they could not be verified, and that a breakout which read ‘2022 price locked’ was misleading.

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The supermarket giant also said the comparison did not represent prices when consumers would buy fresh produce for Christmas, typically in the week before the big day, and that it would usually introduce new deals during this period.

Aldi said the claims in the advert were from Which?’s comparison and that this was detailed in an article on the its website titled: “Which is the cheapest supermarket for Christmas dinner ingredients?”

However, the ASA upheld Sainsbury’s complaint and said the advert could lead shoppers to think that the entire cost of buying the ingredients at the discounter for a Christmas dinner would be cheaper than any rival supermarket, meaning there would be no reason to shop around.

The ASA also explained that as Lidl’s Christmas dinner was found to be just 4p cheaper than Aldi according to Which?, the consumer watchdog had “decided to embrace the Christmas spirit by giving both of the discounters a festive food-pricing crown”.

The advertising group added: “Which? therefore had not awarded Aldi as the ‘cheapest Christmas dinner’ as implied by the overall presentation of the ad, but as a ‘budget-friendly Christmas Dinner’.

“While Aldi was technically the cheapest, this was by a negligible amount, and we considered that it was information that was likely to influence consumers’ understanding of the claim and any transactional decision they might make because of it, since their choice of which supermarket to visit would also be impacted by other factors such as their relative distances or transport costs.

“We therefore considered the ad was misleading about the basis of the comparison in those regards.”



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