By Daniel Hunter
Sainsbury's has lost its High Court appeal against Tesco's Price Promise campaign.
Sainsbury's argued that Tesco's promise to match prices of fresh and own-brand food was misleading, unfair and unlawful as it compared foods from different origins, containing different ingredients.
The supermarket had appealed against an initial ruling from Sir Hayden Philips, an independent reviewer for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
But the High Court ruled that Sainsbury's had no grounds to challenge Sir Hayden's review based on law.
"We'll consider all out options," Sainsbury's said in a statement following the ruling.
In a statement, Sainsbury’s said: “We are disappointed by today’s outcome and we will consider all our options.
“Whilst we respect the court’s decision that the Independent Reviewer acted lawfully when adjudicating our complaint against Tesco, we continue to believe that it is fundamentally misleading for customers if price comparison schemes are inconsistent in taking into account provenance, quality and whether products are Fairtrade or sustainably sourced.
“These values continue to be at the heart of our business and it will be for customers to reach their own verdict on this issue.”
In an email to staff, Tesco UK managing director Robin Terrell, said: “We’re really pleased that the court has taken this decision.
“We prefer talking to our customers rather than about the competition, so you won’t hear us talking about this much publicly, but we should all be clear what it means. We know that at least nine out of 10 customers’ Price Promise baskets are cheaper than Sainsbury’s, and on the other one, we make up the difference.
“What’s more, an important part of Sainsbury’s case against Price Promise was about our supply chain. At Tesco, we work incredibly hard with our suppliers to raise standards and to be able to deliver great products to our customers.
“We’re really proud of the work we do — not least through the efforts of our 45 labour standards experts working around the world.”
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