The Advertising Standards Authority will next week officially reprimand Asda for broadcasting exaggerated and misleading advertising – an ironic counterpoint to the supermarket’s successful challenge to Tesco advertising on one of the self-same grounds last week.
The complaint was about a TV ad – agency Fallon – featuring a 100-day guarantee being offered by the clothing range George at Asda. In the ad, the voiceover states: “At George, we know what makes a difference; the quality and feel of the fabric, the stylish cut, the stitching, colours that stay colourful, extensive testing and the finer details. And that’s why at George, we now offer a one hundred day quality guarantee on all our clothes, so you can enjoy quality that lasts. Yes, that’s George, exclusively at Asda.”
The complainant suggested the ad was misleading because the guarantee was a superfluous gimmick; consumers are already offered a longer period to return faulty items under the Sale of Goods Act.
Asda responded by claiming that the 100-day guarantee enhanced the rights of the consumer beyond the Sale of Goods Act, by covering not only faults but issues with quality. It also argued the guarantee encompassed a 100-day “cooling off” period during which consumers could return any item of clothing if for any reason they did not like what they had bought.
The advertising watchdog found fault with Asda on several grounds. It said the Sale of Goods Act required sold goods to be of satisfactory quality as well as fault-free and, under that legislation, a consumer had 6 years to bring an action for breach of contract; in addition, for the first six months the onus was on the seller if a consumer found fault with quality.
It said the ad failed to make mention of any 100-day “cooling off” period. Asda has been ordered not to show the ad in its present form.