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European court rules size doesn't matter in supermarket ads

European Court of Justice rules on a case involving Carrefour and Intermarché over comparisons in adverts between prices in different sized retailers.

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European court rules size doesn't matter in supermarket ads

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The European Court of Justice has concluded that size doesn’t matter in a case involving French chains Carrefour and Intermarché.

The judges ruled that retailers can compare prices from different sized stores provided they make it clear in their advertising.

Intermarché had complained that Carrefour was not comparing like for like and was misleading consumers when it ran TV ads in 2012 that said its prices were lower for 500 items.

The Intermarché products listed were from its smaller supermarkets whereas Carrefour’s were from hypermarkets – which being bigger can offer larger discounts.

The European court was asked to take on the case by the appeals court in Paris.

It said such comparison advertising can continue and it is only misleading if the consumer has not been properly informed that the comparison was made between prices charged in stores of different sizes and formats.

The judges concluded the French authorities should ensure information about relative size is clearly shown in the ads.