Tesco strawberry fine overshadows tablet news

It was revealed today that Tesco is planning on launching its own tablet computer in time for Christmas as part of wider turnaround strategy, after annual profits fell for the first time in decades this April.

However, on Twitter news that the retail giant is boldly stepping into the ring against Apple, Amazon and Google, was overshadowed by the news that it admitted to misleading customers over ‘half-price’ strawberries. The company was fined £300k, and the judge who heard the case called it “shocking by its very nature”.

Tesco had sold strawberries for one week at £3.99 and then £2.99 after that. The supermarket then sold the fruit at £1.99 over June, July and August 2011, labelling the 400g containers as ‘half-price’.

The length of the new lower price sale should not be longer than the old higher price was available for, according to the pricing practices guide.

The supermarket said it was not a case of "deliberate mis-selling" but an error made by an individual employee and in a statement “apologised sincerely for this mistake”.

According to SoMA, today more than four in ten (43%) UK Twitter users have heard about Tesco, up from just 17% yesterday.

Looking at the top words mentioned alongside Tesco today, there’s little doubt the Twittersphere is more interested in the flap over strawberries than the upcoming Tesco tablet.

The breakdown is: “fined” (26%), “price” (24%), “over” (21%), “strawberries” (20%), “half” (20%), “misleading” (16%) and “300,000” (14%). The eighth most common word mentioned alongside Tesco today was “tablet” (13%).

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