Asda‘s latest TV campaign shows a lollypop lady (lollypop lady = salt of the earth) struggling to work out the itinerary for the ‘nighmare’ expedition that is a trip round her local shops (she plans, somewhat improbably, to visit the market for veg; go ‘down the road for those two-for-ones’; stop at the superstore for dog food then finish up at the fishmonger’s). In the end a modern-day knight in a white Asda van appears and delivers all her shopping for 10% cheaper guaranteed which puts her mind at rest and enables her to get on with helping children cross the road. No need to leave her house for any reason but work now that Asda have come to the rescue! Keen fact-checkers can watch the advert here.
It’s a clear attack on local shops, portraying them as more expensive and awkward to get to. Asda’s claims are unlikely to be challenged very often. Having placed your shopping order online in order to save time and energy (and the sheer brainpower involved in organising a trip to four different shops!), you are unlikely to make a special trip to check whether Asda’s 10% cheaper claim is correct. And how would you prove that it was cheaper on the 13th of June for a pound of peaches on Urmston Market?
In any case, the devil is in the detail: the disclaimer at the bottom of the screen makes it clear that the minimum spend is £25 (so a shopping list consisting largely of haddock, dog food and vegetables is unlikely to be suited to the Asda online shopping facility), that delivery charges apply and that the 10% cheaper claim relates to Morrisons, Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s – not the market or the fishmonger or any other independent trader. How would you claim your money back anyway? You would more than likely lose all the time you’d saved and you wouldn’t have had the benefit of fresh air, gentle exercise and the knowledge that you are building a stronger community by supporting independent traders.
For those who want to support independent traders, but need to order online, there is a new website called We Deliver Local, that allows you to order from local shops and arrange delivery. The Cheshire-based service isn’t available in Urmston – yet – but you can follow them on Twitter and wait for updates.