Saturday, 31 October 2009

Tesco caught telling porkies on planning

Retail giant Tesco has been caught telling porkies again - this time in an information leaflet designed to persuade local residents to back plans for a controversial new superstore in Manningtree, Essex.

The ruling, by the Advertising Standards Authority, upheld a complaint that PR guff produced ahead of planning decisions is 'advertising' if it is designed to 'affect readers' perceptions' of the proposed development, and 'stop them objecting', and as such should be regulated by the Committee for Advertising Practice Code (CAP) in the same manner as other forms of advertising.

It then upheld some of a claim that the leaflet in question, which made claims about the environmental and socio-economic benefits the development would bring, information on local shopping trends and an invitation to send Tendring District Council thoughts on the plans, was 'inaccurate and misleading'.

Tesco had argued that it could say pretty much what is wanted, as the leaflet did not constitute advertising but was in fact 'public relations material' which was designed to inform the public about a proposed development and the associated planning procedure.

Another small legal victory then in the ongoing battles taking place between communities and Tesco stores up and down the country...

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