Watchdog bars B&Q price comparison ad

LONDON - A national press ad for B&Q that claimed: "We'll beat any price, any day of the week" has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

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The ad claimed that the B&Q price promise included other retailers' sale prices, and cited price comparisons with Homebase.

Homebase challenged the ad for making an unfair comparison. It said that it launched a 15 per cent discount offer shortly after the ad came out and as a result, that a number of their prices quoted in the ad were wrong.

B&Q said the intention of the ad was to show customers the lower prices offered at B&Q. They provided copies of receipts for items listed in the ad that had been purchased from a Homebase store a few days prior to the ad's launch.

The ASA noted B&Q had attempted to demonstrate that its normal prices were cheaper than Homebase’s discounted prices; but the basis for comparison was faulty, as Homebase further reduced its prices before the B&Q ad ran.

The watchdog felt that customers would ultimately be misled by the price comparison and, therefore, ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form.