The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has found that Asda broke advertising rules by claiming its Little Angels Comfort Dry nappies are "as absorbent as the leading brand”.
The watchdog challenged whether Asda could substantiate the claim made on its website after Procter & Gamble, the company that makes the leading brand, Pampers, made a formal complaint.
The ASA said Asda failed to provide detailed information that would enable consumers to make the comparison themselves to see which product was most suitable. It also said while Asda had not explicitly named Pampers, shoppers were likely to understand it was the leading brand.
Asda provided information from independent tests it said proved that its range of nappies were in fact as absorbent. The test involved putting liquid into nappies and weighing them to see how much they held after being put into a spinning device.
However, the ASA was not satisfied with the information and said it considered consumers would "interpret claims relating to a nappy’s absorbency as relating to more than simply the amount of liquid a nappy could retain".
It said it had "concerns" over some of the data provided and the testing method and concluded that the claim had "not been substantiated and was therefore misleading".
“It goes without saying that we only use claims on our packaging that we are confident are accurate and truthful, so we are disappointed with the ASA’s ruling on this complaint," an Asda spokeswoman said.
“We could continue to provide independent evidence to support our statement ... but we’ve decided to respect the ASA’s decision and focus on the important job of keeping little bottoms dry rather than getting our knickers in a twist over this ruling."
Sara Spary is a consumer business correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Sara Spary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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