Pick n Pay drags Checkers to ASA over advert

PICK n Pay and Shoprite continue to belt it out in the competitive food retail arena with Pick n Pay having taken Checkers to the Advertising Standards Authority over a TV advert.

Attorneys Bell Dewar, on behalf of Pick n Pay Retailers, lodged a competitor complaint against a TV commercial for Checkers.

The advert thanks more than 800000 South Africans for changing their supermarket, rather than their lifestyle. The visual claim "since 2009 we've welcomed 809127 new shoppers" also appears on screen.

Pick n Pay submitted that certain claims require proof. First, the shift of South Africans to a new store and that "since 2009 we've welcomed 809127 new shoppers". Other claims were that Checkers has "the best lamb in South Africa", "exotic new cheeses" and "finest wines".

Pick n Pay requested that Checkers prove these statements to be factually correct. Checkers withdrew the advert, which was last broadcast on March 24.

Neil Schreuder, Shoprite group marketing manager, said the advert had run its course and was never due to be flighted after March 24.

"We informed the ASA that we no longer intended flighting the ads, and they therefore did not rule on the merits of the matter.

"The claims in the media about Pick n Pay 'thwarting' Checkers ads is therefore incorrect."

Jonathan Ackerman, marketing director of Pick n Pay, said Checkers agreed to withdraw the avert before the complaint reached a hearing stage.

In a previous ruling in which Checkers took Pick n Pay to the advertising authority on claims of lowest price points, Checkers won the ruling.