Lidl in hot water with advertising watchdog over claims about Aldi prices

Lidl has got a slap on the wrist from advertising authorities after rival Aldi taddled on them for making false claims about their prices.

Aldi alerted the Advertising Standards Authority to claims the German supermarket giant made about the price that products usually sell for and what customers could save, in a newspaper advert for its Black Friday sale.

The claims were made on November 25 last year, and compared Lidl's cheap products with what it said was the amount they usually sold for across different stores.

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Most of the items it was promoting were being sold for less than half the amount they tended to be snapped up for, and Lidl said they checked their numbers before the leaflet went out.

It said it was selling a TV for £259 when they normally sell for £409.99, a single mattress for £199.99 when they tend to sell for £499, a double mattress for £329 when they normally sell for £799, a hoover for £99.99 when they normally sell for £199.99, a Chromebook flip laptop for £149.99 when they tend to sell for £399.99 and an iron for £39.99 when the standard price is £79.99.

Aldi thought its rival was making misleading claims about the price the products usually sold for, called the recommended retail price, and complained to the advertising watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the leaflet had breached rules on misleading advertising, substantiation, prices and price comparisons.

The leaflet must not appear again in the current form.

The watchdog said the budget supermarket had not provided enough evidence that the recommended retail price listed for any of the items, apart from the hoover, were in fact the price the products usually sell for.

It said in its ruling: “We concluded that the RRP (recommended retail price) and savings claims for those products had not been substantiated and were misleading.

“The ads must not appear again in the form complained about.

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“We told Lidl Great Britain Ltd to ensure that future references to RRPs reflected the price at which the products concerned were generally sold.

“We also told them to ensure that they held adequate evidence to substantiate their savings claims.”

Lidl insisted the prices in the leaflet were those at which the products were generally sold.

It said it believed customers understood the meaning of the term recommended retail price and said it had used them to avoid suggesting the items had previously been sold by the chain for a higher price.

The supermarket chain said it checked the prices were genuine before publishing the leaflet and reflected the price of the specific brand and model.

It said its buying team checked manufacturers own websites as well as those of brands such as Amazon, Currys and Argos.

The store provided screenshots from manufacturers’ and other retailers’ websites showing prices for the advertised products around the time the leaflet appeared.

It acknowledged a mistake meant the recommended retail price for the Chromebook flip laptop was shown as £399.99 not £339 and apologised.

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