Poster advertising within Dublin Airport for Titanic Belfast stated:
“Experience Titanic Belfast
A must see visitor attraction
Book your tickets at titanicbelfast.com
Quote Dublin90mins for 10% discount – online only”
The complainant viewed the poster in Dublin Airport on July 2nd and on 8th July she attempted to use the promotional code to avail of the 10% discount, however, she was advised that the code was invalid. She telephoned the advertiser and was advised that the promotional offer had expired at the end of June. The complainant considered that the advertising of the promotional offer after it had expired was misleading.
The advertiser stated that they had purchased advertising space to promote their visitor attraction in Dublin Airport for 5 advertising cycles (28th March to 19th June inclusive). They confirmed that part of the artwork of the poster had included a promotional code for discounted tickets for customers to avail of online which was valid from 28th March to 19th June. They said that they were contacted by Dublin Airport on 16th June, some three days before their advertising was due to come down, offering an additional two week period which they accepted. However, as was apparent, the promotional code had not been extended to mirror this. They said that it was never their intention to mislead, omit information or be inaccurate and that this error was a genuine oversight on their part. They apologised for the confusion caused to the customer.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They accepted that when the poster’s display had been extended it was a genuine error that the promotional code had not been validated to reflect the extension. The Committee considered, however, that the fact that the promotional offer had continued to be advertised while not available to consumers, was a breach of Section 4.1 of the Code.
The Committee reminded the advertisers to ensure that future similar offers are advertised accurately.