Boots protests against Superdrug's advertising claims

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Boots Advertising

Two of the UK's biggest health and beauty retailers have fallen out over advertising claims referring to price differences between the companies.

The high street retailer Superdrug claimed in a print advertising campaign that its prices for everyday health and beauty purchases were lower than that of fellow retailer and chemist Boots.

Price comparisons on everyday products

Two adverts were investigated by the UK Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) when Boots complained that the price comparisons were unjustified.

The first advert was headlined "Can you trust Boots on price?" and described a price comparison of 1,048 everyday health and beauty products, 960 of which were cheaper and Superdrug, 84 the same price and 4 cheaper at Boots.

"Think Boots is expensive? do we!" was the headline of the second ad which was followed by the same price comparison claims.

According to Superdrug the price comparison was performed by an independent agency called Compability, which had taken the prices off the shelf edge but did not have documentary evidence of the prices.

Boots took issue with the adverts' claims stating that not only were some of the prices used by Superdrug incorrect, the definition of 'everyday health and beauty purchases' was misleading.

The company argued that Superdrug had included snack food lines, film and battery products in their analysis which are not health and beauty products. Nor are some of the premium cosmetic lines included in the comparison 'everyday' items, argued Boots.

Advert no longer in print

The ASA upheld these complaints and the advert can no longer be published.

In addition, the ASA told Superdrug to ensure that their price comparisons were accurate, fair and up to date in future.

This is not the first time that the agency has taken issue with the high street chain.

Earlier this year, Superdrug made claims that a discount of up to 70 per cent was available on certain fragrance lines and four perfume products were pictured in the advert.

Again it was Alliance Boots who challenged whether or not the claim of 'up to 70 per cent off' was misleading as none of the fragrances pictured could be obtained with this discount.

Superdrug admitted that this was the case, apologised for the mistake and stated that an improved checking procedure was in place for future ads.

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