Aldi ‘Swap & Save’ campaign accused of misleading customers

Aldi ‘Swap & Save’ campaign accused of misleading customers
RGDATA has made a formal complaint to the ASAI regarding Aldi's Swap & Save campaign

RGDATA has made a formal complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority, asking it to investigate ALDI’s “Swap & Save” for misleading consumers.

“Our members are family owned community retailers operating grocery stores in towns and villages throughout Ireland. Our members are key stakeholders within their local communities and provide significant employment and acting as local social and economic hubs. They operate in a fiercely competitive market competing with each other and with a range of other retailers, including Aldi. They would not however have the resources to undertake the extent of advertising and marketing that a larger competitor such as Aldi can achieve” Tara Buckley told the ASAI in the complaint.

Advertising  campaign

The advertising campaign that Aldi has undertaken, and which gives rise to this complaint is the Aldi Swap & Save advertising campaign, which has been running on television, radio and print media (as well as Aldi online channels) since last year.

“We do not believe that the campaign is honest, truthful and is run in a way that is likely to mislead consumers” RGDATA wrote to the ASAI. “Given the high profile nature of this campaign, the extent of the misleading claims being made and the need to ensure that consumers are properly informed when making purchasing decisions, we contend that a number of the provisions of the ASAI code are being breached.”

It is RGDATA’s view that “the advertising is breaching many of the Section 4 provisions on Truthfulness and Honesty as the comparisons used would give rise to a likelihood of a consumer being misled. The comparisons were also unfairly selected in a way to give the advertiser an artificial advantage.

Credibility and integrity

“If advertising is to have credibility and integrity, it is critical that advertisers should not present misleading claims or mislead consumers by omission or by making false, exaggerated or incorrect claims about prices or products. The Aldi Swap and Save campaign falls short on so many different levels. On behalf of RGDATA and on my own behalf as a consumer I would be grateful if the ASAI would investigate this
matter and come to a conclusion” wrote Tara Buckley. “This will in part be a test of the effectiveness and bona fides of the ASAI as an
industry regulator and I hope that the ASAI will respond accordingly.”