UK regulator the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that supermarket chain Aldi’s Christmas dinner ad 2023 was misleading. 

The ad, titled “the home of Britain’s cheapest Christmas dinner,” was published in a newspaper on 6 December 2023. 

The four-page wrap-around ad compared prices with Sainsbury’s and suggested consumers could “swap and save over 20% on your Christmas dinner.” 

It cited a Which? report, stating Aldi’s dinner was more than 20% cheaper than Sainsbury’s. 

Sainsbury’s challenged the ad, arguing that the price comparison was not reflective of the actual costs during the crucial period when shoppers buy their festive ingredients.  

The ASA agreed, noting that the Which? report had not named Aldi as the “cheapest Christmas dinner” provider but had given it a “Budget-friendly Christmas Dinner” award.  

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The watchdog highlighted that the price difference between Aldi and the next cheapest option, Lidl, was a mere 4p (¢5). 

The ASA’s investigation concluded that while Aldi was marginally cheaper, the ad’s presentation could significantly influence consumer decisions, which might also be affected by factors such as store proximity and transportation costs.  

The regulator has instructed that the advertisement must not re-appear in its original form and has directed Aldi to ensure future price comparisons are not misleading and are substantiated, particularly when they imply relevance to a specific shopping period. 

The ASA also mandated the retailer to provide adequate information for consumers to verify competitor comparisons and avoid misleading claims regarding their own previous pricing.  

Aldi Stores, trading as Aldi, has been advised to adhere to these guidelines to prevent future consumer misapprehension. 

The ASA stated: “We told [Aldi] to ensure that they provided sufficient information for consumers to be able to verify competitor comparisons for themselves. We also told them to ensure their ads did not make misleading comparisons with their own previous prices.” 

In its annual supermarket satisfaction survey released in February 2024, Which? named British multinational retailer Marks & Spencer as the best in-store supermarket of 2024.