Ad description

A TV ad, for Sainsbury's, viewed on 27 October 2011, featured a voice-over that stated "You might not be thinking about presents yet, but they are, so right now at Sainsbury's ALL toys are half price. Sainsbury's, live well for less". The ad also featured a logo which stated "1/2 price" and on-screen text which stated "Selected stores & availability. All toys ½ price in store & selected toys ½ price online. Prices range from £9.99 - £34.99. Max 6 items. Ends 2nd Nov".


Tesco Stores and two members of the public challenged whether the claim "Right now at Sainsbury's ALL toys are half price" was misleading, because only selected toys were available at half price online.


J Sainsbury said the on-screen text made clear that all toys were half price in-store and that only selected toys were half price online. They believed the qualification did not contradict the headline claim because it was aimed at another shopping medium.

Clearcast did not believe the ad was misleading. They believed the reference to 'at Sainsbury's' within the voice-over and the accompanying on-screen text made clear that the promotion was available in-store and that selected toys were available for half price online.



The ASA noted the voice-over stated 'ALL toys are half price' and was accompanied by a half price logo on-screen. In that context, we considered consumers were likely to interpret the ad to mean that all toys available for purchase from Sainsbury's, both in store and online, were half price.

We acknowledged the ad included on-screen text which stated "All toys ½ price in-store & selected toys ½ price online." However, we considered that, although it was acceptable for on-screen text to clarify or expand on claims in ads or to add minor qualifications, it should not contradict claims made in the ad. Because we understood that only selected toys were available at half price online and because we considered that the on-screen text contradicted the main claim, we concluded that the ad was misleading and breached the Code.

The ad breached BCAP Code rules  3.1 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.  (Misleading advertising) and  3.10 3.10 Advertisements must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.  (Qualification).


The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.


3.1     3.10    

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