British retail giant Tesco, which last week announced a franchise and hyper-market association with Tata group in India, has been asked to withdraw two of its advertisements after the regulator ruled they "mislead" consumers.
The Advertising Standards Authority yesterday ruled that the company has shown an "unfair" comparison in the advertisements to claim that a selection of goods sold at its stores are cheaper than those of rival retailers Asda and Wm Morrison.
ASA said "ads must not appear again in their current form," as it found that "both ads were likely to mislead."
The first of the two national press ads for Tesco showed a shopping trolley full of goods with a caption of "Asda 76.15 pounds, Tesco 49.59 pounds. Why pay more at Asda?"
The second ad also showed a shopping trolley full of goods and stated "Morrisons 75.11 pounds, Tesco 49.58 pounds, save a trolley-load of cash at Tesco."
Both the ads also mentioned a line saying 'Includes Tesco products on promotion', small-print text mentioning the details of products shown in the trolley and date for which prices were taken into account at Asda and Morrisons.
On these, ASA said, it received two complaints on whether the price comparisons were misleading.
On August 12, Tesco announced its plans to develop a wholesale cash-and-carry business in India, with an initial investment of up to 60 million pounds in the first two years.
Besides, it also announced an exclusive franchise agreement with Trent, the retail arm of the Tata Group. Under the agreement, Trent would be able to draw on Tesco's expertise and technical capability to support the development of its hypermarket business, Star Bazaar.