Sainsbury's ad campaign misleading

Sainsbury'sSainsbury's has been ordered to change its "brand match" campaign after the advertising watchdog found it was misleading consumers.

The television, radio, internet and newspaper campaign promised customers would not pay more for brands than at Asda or Tesco, with the supermarket giant giving a voucher if prices were found to be cheaper at either of its two rivals.
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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 20 complaints, from Tesco and 19 members of the public, that the coupon would in some cases confirm that customers would have paid less for branded goods at the two other chains.

Some complained that the ads did not make it clear that any saving was calculated across all of the brands in a shopper's basket or that the offer was only available to those who spent £20 or more.
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Sainsbury's said it strongly believed that the brand match was a "genuine, clear and concise offer" that relied on a simple process.

The supermarket said the offer was straightforward for consumers and had been well received, with nearly 100 million coupons issued, indicating that shoppers understood the deal from the advertising.

The ASA noted that consumers would need to make a further purchase in order to redeem the coupons, which were limited to a value of £10 and had to be redeemed within two weeks.

It also understood that prices were only matched rather than bettered, and that consumers would in some instances pay more in order to receive the coupon for the difference.

The ASA ruled that the ads must not appear again in their current form and added: "We told Sainsbury's to ensure future ads did not imply consumers would not pay more, or would save money, if that was not the case. We also told them to ensure all significant conditions of promotions were made clear in future."

Sainsbury's said: "Sainsbury's is committed to providing advertising that our customers can easily understand. We do not believe that our customers have been misled but we have already changed our current advertising to reflect the concerns raised."

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Sainsbury's ad campaign misleading

"A woman is only a woman but a good cigar is a smoke". Only a woman? Feminists would take issue at the "only" adverb, and the idea that any human being of either gender is inferior to a cancer-inducing product from Benson & Hedges.


Don't blame the ad men completely. That ad tag line is actually the evil work of one Rudyard Kipling. From a poem he penned called "The Bethrothed".

Now this is a creepy ad: "I have created a playground for men's hands." Armando Ghedini created wigs "for other men who adore women". This wig was also wash'n'wear. Nice.


The thoughtful signor Ghedini had also designed a wig to be combed in any direction, "for men to tousle". Men, he said, become "inspired" by women who wore it and women, Ghedini added, were grateful.

VW advertising has often been self-deprecating and clever. In 1960s America their ads were phenomenally successful, persuading thousands of Americans to ditch large thirsty home-made offerings for the company's cramped, noisy but economical Beetle.

Their ads flattered the intelligence of the American middle class. But this ad depicing a bashed-up VW bug? "Sooner or later your wife will drive home one of the best reasons for owning a Volkswagen". Not their female customers, clearly. What were they thinking?

Similarly, Easyjet also thought that a pair of ample breasts would be enough to help ticket sales. This ad dates back to 2003 when George Bush, Dick Cheney and Tony Blair were getting very animated about those hard-to-find weapons of mass destruction.


This particular ad garnered around 200 complaints to the Advertising Council and also escaped any ticking off. And plenty of publicity of course. It all worked out beautifully for Easyjet. Tits away, Stelios.

Car manufacturers and cigarette companies are regular sexist offenders. Here Italian typewriter maker Olivetti peddles the idea that young women are passive, servants ready to transcribe boardroom minutes at a moment's notice.


Where are Olivetti now in the global brand firmament?. Join the Olivetti girls. At ease, ladies, please.

Melon distributor F.H.Hogue of California thought his melons were pretty buxom and wanted to spread the word. Ho-ho, Mr Hogue.

There are plenty more examples and we'll be looking at more anther time. In the meantime let's leave with a woman knowing exactly where she should be (in the home, honey).

Here is a 1970s shoe ad from a brand called Weyenberg. You may find it hard to track down a Weyenberg shoe today however.

However, not all car makers followed such a well-worn patronising path. Back in the 1970s Honda in the US reversed the idea that women always needed cars with simple, easy-to-drive automatic gearboxes.


Despite offering both a manual and auto gearbox, neither was "a women's car" Honda stated firmly. Note the jaunty hat and jeans. A stab at selling to the US lesbian community? Or an independent straight girl fed up with stereotypes. Good for Honda.

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