Sainsbury's wins complaint against Tesco's price matching guarantee advert, after watchdog ASA bans it for being misleading

Catherine Neilan
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The Tesco supermarket retail store's log
The small print contradicted the headline claim, the ASA ruled (Source: Getty)

Tesco's price-matching "brand guarantee" advert has been banned for being "misleading" after a regulator upheld a complaint made by rival supermarket Sainsbury's today.

The advert, which appeared in national press in October last year as part of chief executive Dave Lewis' update from its earlier price promise, said consumers would "never pay more for your branded shop".

Tesco promised it would refund the difference if branded products were sold more cheaply at Sainsbury's, Asda or Morrisons.

However, the fine print included the proviso that it applied to basket with a minimum of 10 different products including one comparable branded item. Sainsbury's argued that the advert did not make the minimum restriction sufficiently clear.

And the Advertising Standards Authority agreed, saying the small print "contradicted the headline claim and was not sufficiently prominent to counteract the misleading impression created by it".

"It was clear the scheme related only to branded, as opposed to own-brand, items. However, we also considered it was not sufficiently clear from the main body of the ad that it was necessary to buy multiple products in order to qualify," the watchdog said.

"In addition, we considered “Never pay more for your branded shop” was an absolute claim that was likely to be understood by consumers to mean that if they purchased branded good(s), they would qualify for the price match against the named retailers."

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