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Lidl reprimanded by ASA over ‘Special Offers’ adverts

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has told Lidl one of its ads “must not appear again in its current form”, after an advert in a Northern Irish store led a customer to believe fruit and vegetables would be available for 49p between 16 April and 22 April.

Lidl’s advert was found in its promotional circular, where a large roundel stated: “Super Savers!”, and another stated: “14 New Offers For Less Every Week”. Various products were listed with discounted prices, including several fruits and vegetables listed at 49p. In the top right corner, text said: “Thurs – Wed 19 – 25 April”.

The ASA said it “considered that consumers who saw the front page of the ad were likely to understand that the ‘Special Offers’ contained within the leaflet could be obtained on the dates stated at the top of the page”. The ASA added that it felt other pages reinforced the idea that the offer would be available between the 19 and 25 April.

Lidl said the dates on the cover of the circular were located on a black heading accompanying a title “Special Offers”, next to which appeared its logo. The supermarket said the wording was “clearly” the overall title of the leaflet. Lidl said the accompanying dates indicated the relevant period to which it applied, and they believed that was “unambiguous”.

The supermarket said “when viewed as a whole, given the uniform way in which the pages of the leaflet indicated the relevant validity dates, it would be unambiguous to readers on which dates the offers applied”.

It was found that “consumers were likely to assume that the offers within pages six and seven of the leaflet could be obtained during the dates set out on the front page”. The ASA added “because that was not the case” it concluded that the ad was “misleading”.

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