German supermarket chain Lidl has had its UK PC advertising branded 'unfair' and 'misleading' by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following a complaint from Tempo.
The dispute began after a Lidl advertisement in regional paper The Portsmouth News, which compared Lidl's Fujitsu T-Bird PC with Tempo's Hewlett Packard Pavilion 6355. Tempo complained that the price quoted by Lidl for the HP machine on the date Lidl said it compared prices was incorrect by £80. It added that by the time the advertisement appeared - two weeks later - the price difference had become £200.
Tempo further stated that the comparison between the T-Bird and the Pavilion was unfair and that it stocked other PCs whose specifications were more in line with the Fujitsu model. Lidl refused to acknowledge that there was a problem, forcing Tempo to go to the ASA.
Michael Kraftman, deputy chairman of Tempo, said: 'We were very concerned when we saw the advertisement. It was outrageous - inaccurate and not a fair comparison.
'I don't object to comparative advertising as long as it is fair. We did go to Lidl before going to the ASA, but it just brushed it off. I don't know whether it was deliberate or just sloppy.'
The ASA agreed that Lidl's price comparison was out of date. In a statement, it said: 'The ASA considered the advertisement was misleading and asked the advertisers to ensure the accuracy of their future advertised price comparisons. The comparison between the advertisers' computer and the computer chosen from the complainants' selection was unfair.'
Lidl refused to comment and Fujitsu declined to comment on the situation.
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