Sainsbury’s ad blunder causes Twitter storm

30th September 2014

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Sainsbury’s has been caught out in an embarrassing blunder as a Twitter user spotted a poster in a store window which had been intended for staff eyes only.

The poster called on staff to take part in the “50p challenge” to get customers to spend more, appeared in Stratford, east London on Monday and the photo quickly circulated on social media.

It read: “Let’s encourage every customer to spend an additional 50p during each shopping trip between now and the year-end.”

The error is particularly ill-timed for Sainsbury’s  ahead of a trading update tomorrow, which is expected to show a drop in sales in the face of intense competition from discount retailers like Lidl and Aldi.

The apparent incitement of pushy sales tactics is unlikely to sit well with price-sensitive consumers and will do little to convince shoppers that the supermarket still offers  good value for money.

It comes as rivals spend millions getting their alternative message across.

One high-profile TV campaign shows shoppers buying produce at what appears to be a farmer’s market, whereupon, after raving about the quality of the products, they are  they are thanked for shopping at Lidl.

Meanwhile, Aldi yesterday revealed it had boosted UK profits by 65% to £261m and vowed to fight on in the supermarket price war.

Tesco has been engulfed in its own public relations crisis as it was recently revealed the supermarket had overstated its profit estimates by £250 million.

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