Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 13:00 UK

Tesco was 'untruthful' in leaflet

Advertising standards watchdogs have ruled that supermarket chain Tesco was untruthful in leaflets promoting a proposed store in Essex.

Complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in December 2008 about the way Tesco advertised plans to build a branch in Manningtree.

The ASA has published its findings, and upheld two of the four complaints.

Tesco was found to have made an unsubstantiated and misleading claim. The chain said it was "disappointed".

Four complaints were made about claims made in the leaflet distributed to people living in Manningtree and the surrounding area.

Survey claim

In the leaflet Tesco said a survey by the company had shown there was "a need and a demand for a new food store to serve the Manningtree/Lawford/Mistley area".

However only 8.6% (38 out of 440 respondents) said they wanted and needed a new food store.

The ASA said this was misleading.

In a statement Tesco said: "In this case, the 'need' referred to has a specific meaning in planning terms, so we disagree with the ASA's findings.

We go to great lengths to ensure that customers and communities are well informed about our development proposals
Tesco statement

"We are continuing to discuss this issue with the ASA."

The watchdog also upheld a complaint about Tesco stating if the supermarket was built residents would travel less, resulting in a reduction of "about 1.6 million tons" in carbon emissions.

In fact the saving would be 1.6 million kg or 1,600 tons.

The ASA said it believed the wrong figures were a result of human error, but deemed the statement misleading and that it breached truthfulness and substantiation codes.

In its statement Tesco said: "We go to great lengths to ensure that customers and communities are well informed about our development proposals, and that any information we provide is helpful and accurate."

The ASA did not uphold a complaint that the number of jobs to be created was wrong, or a complaint about whether the money spent at the Manningtree store would stay in the area.

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