Supermarkets agree to new rules on “misleading” promotions... apart from Asda

30 November 2012

Eight supermarkets have signed up to a new set of tighter rules to ensure that  consumers aren't "misled" by special offers and promotions, after a probe by the OFT.

The regulator launched an investigation in February to look at concerns that shoppers could be "confused" by the way prices are displayed. And now, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer, Co-op, Lidl, Aldi and Waitrose have all agreed to adopt this new code.

Clive Maxwell, the OFT’s chief executive, said: "Household budgets across the country are under pressure and shoppers should be able to trust that special offers and promotions really are bargains." These new rules look at offers like "Half Price" and "bigger pack, better value" and the like. The OFT's principles state that prices "should be presented as discounts for the same or less time than the product was initially sold at the higher price".

The OFT said supermarkets hadn't broken the law, but they were engaging in "misleading" promotions.

While these retailers are all now making sure all deals are "fair and meaningful" for consumers, you'll note that Asda haven't decided to play along. They said: "Our decision not to be included in the OFT announcement today is not a 'closed door' on this discussion. We welcome the work carried out by the OFT and are taking time to consider its recommendations in detail."


  • Darren
    Maybe do some research and not just look at one site. “In a statement Asda argued that as it aims to keep prices for customers “as low as possible for them week in week out”, a code covering special offer price promotions was not relevant.” This is because ASDA are well known for not offering as many silly deals as all the others they just go for over the board load prices! Not saying they are angels, but this does not apply to them so much! get the facts right before posting stuff instead of changing a few words from another site, the standard in this case! do you not need to do a link back… its basically plagiarism!
  • Darren
    low prices*
  • Majorie D.
    As someone who shops at most of the big supermarkets on occassion, I would concur that ASDA are the best out of them all for fair(er) pricing (not saying they're perfect though). Still, a shame they couldn't tow the line with the rest as their stance makes them look dodgy. A bit of a marketing faux pas.
  • Craig
    The main thing would be to actually have the price charged be the same as the price on the shelf, now there's a novel idea. 4 prices wrong at Asda last week, 2 in the Co-Op yesterday. This is shameful & Trading Standards are completely missing in action.
  • w0nKeY H.
    My local Co-Op had a family of badgers living under it.
  • Darren
    @w0nKeY HeNrY Now that is news, tell BW maybe they will publish it if you badger them enough!!
  • Chewbacca
    Asda aren't blameless by any means. Example: 300g KP nuts up until last week or so were £2.42, or 2 for £3. The next most expensive packs of the same nuts were at Waitrose for £1.89. I mean, what the fuck, Asda?
  • BS
    why do they have to rely on 'agreements'. it's like the tax thing. just put it into law.
  • Mike M.
    @BS Because this isn't Stalin's communist Russia
  • Wendy H.
    You will like this offer in my local Tesco today. Box of Reggae Reggae sauce at the end of an isle, clearly stating £1. On one side of the box the £1 has been cut out and a piece of printed paper stuck over it states £1.69, now £1.20. ???? Disgusting and I have let them know so too.

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