Mad Butcher adverts misled customers

AIMEE GULLIVER
Last updated 18:15 16/12/2013

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The Mad Butcher has fallen foul of the national advertising watchdog, which found advertisements were likely to mislead the public as to the price of meat.

The Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint by Progressive Enterprises, the parent company of supermarket chain Countdown, over a series of advertisements claiming "Jo from Onehunga just found her Countdown shop cost 31.5 per cent more than the Mad Butcher".

Jo, understood to be a real person, bought five meat products from the Mad Butcher Onehunga store and the Countdown Greenlane store on May 22.

These products cost $88.95 at the Mad Butcher, and $116.95 at Countdown, so the consumer could have saved $28 or 31.5 per cent, as advertised by the Mad Butcher.

Progressive Enterprises said the advertisements were misleading because no "basket shop" was undertaken by Jo at Countdown; consumers could not buy four of the five Countdown products at the prices listed in the campaign; one kilogram packs of meat were not available for purchase at Countdown; the products compared were not of similar quality; and the Mad Butcher prices should have been compared with the Countdown Onehunga prices.

The Mad Butcher said its campaign focused consumers' attention on the consistent everyday price of meat, which was a more accurate way for consumers to decide where they could save money.

The authority said the advertisements, which ran on television, radio, and in a newspaper were misleading and falsely claimed a price advantage.

The advertisement inferred the products could have been bought on May 22 at Countdown, which was not the case.

Countdown could not have been 31.5 per cent more expensive on the day in question, and the advertisement was misleading to that effect, the authority found.

The mixed methodologies used to calculate a single-basket shop compared with the general everyday price of meat per kilogram between the stores was also likely to mislead consumers, it said.


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