ASA raps Daily Mail for misleading Tesco vouchers TV ad

The Advertising Standards Authority has censured the Daily Mail over a TV ad promotion intended to give readers money off shopping at Tesco.

The advertising watchdog banned the ad after upholding a complaint from a viewer that it was misleading.

The ruling marks the fifth time this year the ASA has censured the Daily Mail over an advert or reader offer.

The complainant claimed the ad implied that viewers would receive two £5 vouchers which could be used against their total shopping bill when vouchers were in fact for lesser sums and had to be used in specific departments.

The ad for the reader offer stated: ‘In today’s Daily Mail, save £10 off your shopping at Tesco … Get your money off coupons only in today’s Daily Mail”.

The on-screen text then stated ‘Terms, conditions and minimum spend applies’and in the final scene the ad showed an image of two £5 Tesco vouchers alongside a copy of the Daily Mail.

Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mail, said the ad clearly stated that “terms, conditions and minimum spend” applied to the redemption of the offer.

The publisher said it had no control over the content of the ad, which was created by the advertising agency M&C Saatchi, and was not shown to it prior to broadcast.

Similarly, Tesco Stores Ltd said it had no control over the content of the ad and it had not been shown the ad prior to broadcast.

Associated Newspapers told the ASA it was immaterial if viewers received two £5 vouchers or several vouchers of smaller denominations, because they would still receive £10 off their shopping.

Upholding the complaint the ASA ruled that the seven vouchers supplied by Associated Newspapers were offered in denominations of £1 and £2 and were redeemable against specific ranges of items such as cereals, meat, health and beauty products and household goods.

‘The image of two £5 vouchers in the ad implied that viewers would receive vouchers in that larger denomination, which was not the case,’ruled the ASA.

‘Furthermore, we noted the ad featured a scenario of a family doing their weekly shop which we considered reinforced the implication in the ad that the vouchers could be redeemed against a consumer’s total shopping bill.

‘We considered that the ad should have made clear that the vouchers, totalling £10 overall, were in fact for smaller discounts off items in specific departments.

‘Because the ad implied consumers would receive two five pound vouchers to spend as they wished which was not the case, we concluded the ad was likely to mislead.”

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