Monday, August 04, 2008

Lidl calls Tesco product's 'Trash' in Ryanair style advertising blitz!

Over the weekend, Lidl 'Ireland' ramped up the ongoing 'battle of the supermarkets' with an explosive 'Ryanairesque' style advertising campaign entitled; "Don't spend your cash on trash", in direct response to Tesco's recent 'cash savers' campaign and promotions; which attempted to position Tesco products on a similar price footing to that of Lidl and Aldi. The campaign accuses Tesco of selling 'trash' food products, by likening the percentage of key ingredients of some Tesco products with that of Lidl. Lidl argument is that key ingredients such as pork content in sausage meat and fruit in Jams and conserves are noticably higher in Lidl products. Tesco had been attempted to compare 'like for like' its own product line in terms of price, with that of Lidl.
The question which needs to be asked is whether Lidl has severely overstepped the mark in terms of 'attention grabbing advertising' (pioneered in Ireland and elsewhere by 'Ryanair'), have standards in advertising been eroded? Furthermore, what are the implications and repercussions of calling food, 'Trash' being sold by Tesco and other supermarkets?

Certainly, Tesco can counter that regardless of the meat content in such products, they remain 'food' and not 'trash'. Furthermore, in many areas where Lidl and Aldi are not available, shoppers who can only afford to purchase Tesco 'cash saver' items, shouldn't be made to feel that they are buying 'trash' because they cannot afford sausage rolls that are 15% percent higher in meat content than that of similar products. (It is worth noting that even the 27% pork content in Lidl sausage rolls seems extremely low in anycase!) In addition, there is a noticable difference between meat which has (for example) been labeled 80% meat content with that being labeled 80% 'lean' meat content. In otherwords, from my experience; 'meat' can be anything from cartilage, grissle and tissue to animal fat. Thus, there is a separate yet related issue of the 'purity' of the ingredients used. Finally, by focusing on just one ingredient of a product and listing it as superior because of a higher percentage; Lidl is ignoring all other ingredients of a product such as the percentage and kinds of preservatives and flavour enhancers used etc.

Thus, the argument I am making is that Lidl's advertising campaign is crude, possibly disingenous and downright offensive to Tesco, its producers and the people who have no choice but to purchase them! What I would like to see is a supermarket war which focuses on the quality and 'goodness' of the products in their totality rather than on one key ingredient. Even then, I object to food being labeled 'trash' on the grounds of semantics, even though I recognise that some 'value' products are limited in terms of 'purity' and 'nutritional content'. Ultimately, do supermarkets really need to stoop to this level? Will this open the floodgates to supermarkets and companies accusing rivals of selling trash? Who knows, but the next 6 months may be an interesting time in the grocery retail sector if Lidl's campaign is anything to go by!

Copyright © 2006-2009 Shane McLoughlin. This article may not be resold or redistributed without prior written permission.


nnnnn said...

hi there,

they hid your article on indymedia ireland because it was already published here. You should look at the editorial guidelines there before posting again. You could 1) Use the Other press section to point people to posts here or 2) Post to indymedia ireland before posting on your blog.

It's worth publishing there as the site has a substantial audience


Anonymous said...

My eyes jumped out of my head when I saw the ads in the paper. Job done.

Anonymous said...

Here...where do you stand on Aldi? I mean I don't know...personally

shane mc loughlin said...

Hmmm, Claire or Nuala, I suspect the former! Lidl for price and variety, Aldi for quality...

Anonymous said...