Store chain may sue over petrol advert

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The Independent Online
SAINSBURY'S yesterday said it was considering legal action against Shell over an advertisement in national newspapers which claimed that cheaper supermarket petrol could harm engines, writes David Nicholson-Lord.

The supermarket chain has also complained to the Advertising Standards Authority and described the advertisement as a 'slur'. It said it showed the oil industry was worried about its declining share of the petrol market.

The price war has seen prices fall to among the cheapest in Europe. Superstores, where prices are 15p to 20p cheaper than established outlets, have increased their share from 6 per cent in 1990 to about 17 per cent.

Sainsbury's said the 'cleaner' petrol claimed by oil companies is produced by a detergent additive. The store said the additive cost only one-tenth of a penny per litre and all of its filling stations would be selling petrol containing the additive by next Monday.