Troubled electricals retailer Comet has this week received a warning about its conduct from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regarding a brochure promoting the company’s services.
ASA has banned the advert in question and told Comet to be clearer about its price comparisons in the future following complaints from rival Dixons Retail.
Dixons said that a “Prices checked daily” promise was misleading because it omitted comparisons with Dixons.co.uk, and although Comet believed its “Ask in store for details” tagline disclaimed the initial statement, the complaint was upheld.
The brochure was designed to highlight Comet’s offer to beat online prices of company’s such as John Lewis and Argos if customers visited its UK stores.
It is the latest blow for the electricals specialist, which reported larger like-for-like trading declines than any of its competitors in the last financial year and is currently looking to offload part of its store portfolio in the months ahead in order to reduce its alarming losses.
Managing Director Hugh Harvey left his job at the start of May as the company took the decision to try to reverse falling sales figures with a new leadership team under former Commercial Director and experienced retailer Bob Darke.
Today’s statement from ASA said: “We considered that readers were likely to interpret the claim “Prices checked daily” to mean that Comet checked their prices against those of competitors on a daily basis.
“We noted that dixons.co.uk had not been included in any price comparison and acknowledged that that was made clear in the Price Match Promise on their website. However, we noted that the ad did not qualify the basis of the price comparison.”
A separate complaint from a customer, suggesting that a different money saving promise from Comet was misleading, was also upheld by ASA today.