February 4, 2023

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Oda thinks Mini's ads are breaking the law - E24

Oda thinks Mini’s ads are breaking the law – E24

Oda claims that Mini’s advertising message that it has the largest selection of food products is “simply incorrect”. In August, they took the case to the Norwegian Consumer Protection Authority. The list insists they have the message covered.

Mini and Oda are two competing players in home delivery of food products. Norgesgruppen the owner of Menu’s is the largest trading house in the country.
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Online retailer Oda has long been reacting to Meny’s claims about its own pick.

In January, Oda’s commercial director Tor Erik Aag contacted marketing director Jørgen Normann-Larsen at Meny owned by Norgesgruppen.

For several years, Meny.no has used claims such as “the biggest selection in Norway”, and similar claims. None of these documents were ever attached, Aag wrote in an email seen by E24.

Norman Larsen replied that Mini doesn’t agree with Oda on everything, but “we see that we can benefit from more precise communication, and also to give us the impact we want in marketing.”

thank you very much for the respond. However, it did not end there.

Read on E24 +

The prices of these foods increased more than others

– Surprise

Because in that time, Mini’s use of claims about “the biggest pick in Norway” has only increased, Aag tells E24.

The list acknowledges that marketing is inaccurate. Hence it is surprising that they continue as before.

In August, he filed a complaint on behalf of Oda with the Norwegian Consumer Protection Authority, alleging that the Mini was in violation of the Marketing Act.

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Commercial Director Tor Erik Aag at Oda.

Aag has attached recent Instagram, radio and print marketing examples on distribution vehicles.

In the complaint, Aag notes that 2020 numbers from analysis firm NielsenIQ showed that both Coop Obs and Coop Mega have more unique products than Meny.

Aag told E24 that their research shows Oda also has a larger selection than some Meny stores, but less than others.

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Disappointed by the inspection

Two weeks later, the response came from the Norwegian Consumer Protection Authority.

They noted that they receive more than 11,000 written complaints and inquiries annually, so strict prioritization of the issues being considered is essential.

“After making a careful assessment, we have chosen not to consider your complaint now. However, the investigation has been recorded, and it will be included as essential material in the assessment of cases we should focus on in the future,” the inspector wrote.

Aag says it’s surprising that the Norwegian Consumer Authority is not prioritizing stopping what he sees as clear-cutting the biggest player in an industry as big as groceries.

Owner Norgesgruppen Meny, who is also behind the Kiwi, Joker, Spar and Nærbutikken chains, accounts for about 44 percent of the market.

– I am quite sure that if someone in the industry had intervened in the same way with a price claim, the supervisory authority would have reacted very quickly. But perhaps many customers are worried about having a large selection as is the price. Therefore, the supervisory authority should react the same way in this case, says Aag.

It has specific food products

Norman Larsen says the Mini made changes after being approached by Oda last winter.

From ‘MENY Online Store – the largest selection of Norwegian food delivered straight to your home’ to ‘MENY Online Store – the largest selection of food products delivered directly to your home’.

We are satisfied with the change and have used the new message in marketing since then, he says.

The top of the list shows that auto printing takes a little longer to replace, as they previously announced, “Some radio monitors sent an old message in error,” but the Instagram example Oda points to shows their new message.

– So I don’t understand why they are referring to this.

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He has documents

Meny’s response is unreliable, “even when they tried to maneuver through the letter tuning,” Aag believes in Oda.

– First, they follow the previous message in many channels.

Second, Menuy’s claim to have the largest selection of food also leads to the requirement that it can document having the largest selection in all geographical locations, compared to all competitors, and at all times. Of course, they can’t produce that, simply because it’s not true.

Norman Larsen answers: If Oda wants documentation, they should ask for it.

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Marketing Director Jürgen Normann-Larsen at Norgesgruppen-owned Mini.

– They didn’t after we changed marketing. And we don’t need to document a large group in general, but we need to document a selection of food products in particular, because that’s what we’re communicating with.

– What do you mean by the message “The largest selection of foods straight to your door?”

– We mean what we say. We have limited ourselves to food products and do not communicate choice in general.

Norman Larsen says Minnie has documents to back up the letter.

Can we see the documents?

– The Norwegian Consumer Protection Authority has rejected the complaint about misleading marketing and therefore we have no further comment to the media.

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