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Two developments have recently highlighted that supermarket pricing practices may not be all they should be. Today, Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme as a result of a report Which? had published on supermarket’s not-very-special offers.
Which? claimed that some supermarkets have misleading deals and highlighted two particular practices as being particularly frequent: discounting products that had only been sold at a higher price for a very short time; and multiple offers where it was actually cheaper, or cost the same, to buy the products as single items.
Supermarkets have said that the “offers” are down to human error , but Which? says that there have been thousands of such incidents and include Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Asda in its examples.
It said that it wants the supermarkets to put an end to misleading special offers, the government to make the rules for special offers simpler, clearer and stricter, and tougher enforcement action to clamp down on rule breaking supermarkets.
The other development is that Sainsburys is taking on Tesco, or rather the Advertising Standards Authority, in the courts. Some time ago the ASA adjudicated on a complaint by Sainsburys about a price match advertisement by Tesco.
Sainsbury’s challenged whether Tesco’s claim “you won’t lose out on big brands, own-label or fresh food” was misleading for own-label and fresh food as some of the products compared were not comparable. Sainsburys also thought that that the basis of the price comparison had not been made clear.
Sainsburys’ point was that many of its products were fair trade or ethically sourced an
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