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Medium: Online – Influencer’s Social Media Account
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 5.1, 5.5, 5.11, 5.15(c)
Instagram post by an influencer advertising an offer available in Tesco stores for a bottle of Aperol and a bottle of Bella Cucina Prosecco for €20. The Post included a link to an IGTV video by the influencer.
The post stated:
“Aperol Spritz, Bar Tour & Snacks - @tescoirl are selling a bottle of @aperolspritz.ire & a Bottle of Bella Cucina Prosecco for €20!! Bank-holiday weekend deliciousness SORTED. #AperolSpritz #DrinkAware (AD)”
The IGTV video featured the influencer giving a tour of their bar, making an Aperol Spritz and discussing bar snack options. During the course of the video the influencer stated:
“For my Aperol Spritz I'm going to need, of course, the star of the show (Influencer presents a bottle of Aperol to the camera), Bella Cucina prosecco. Now what's great is, in Tesco at the moment, for €20 you can buy these two. So what are you waiting for.”
Later in the video they stated:
“€20, perfect for a bank holiday weekend.”
The complainant, on viewing the advertisement, noted that the offer was promoted as being for the bank holiday weekend. On visiting their local store on the Sunday of the bank holiday weekend they were advised that the offer was over. As the advertisement had not included any information on the availability of the offer, they considered that the advertising was misleading.
The advertisers confirmed that the offer was available from 21st May to 1st June inclusive and included one bottle of Aperol and one bottle of Bella Cuccina prosecco for €20. They said that the advertisement on Instagram had promoted the offer on two days, Thursday 28th and Friday 29th May.
They said that they set themselves the highest standard when it came to marketing communications and it was never their intention to mislead customers in any way. They acknowledged that due to an oversight on their part they had failed to notice that the end date and stock availability notice had been omitted from the proposed Instagram post, however, when a customer visited their stores, the end dates of the promotion would have been listed on point of sale material in the store, together with a note that the promotion was only available while stocks last. They also said that they ran live social media advertisements on their Tesco social media channels for the promotion and these live advertisements linked through to the respective offer on Tesco.ie where the end dates, together with a stock availability notice were available.
They also advised that whenever they run a promotion with a supplier, they always check with their suppliers that they can meet the response to a promotion. In advance of this promotion they advised that they had sent a forecast to their supplier with increased levels of stock which they estimated would satisfy the response to the promotion based on a similar promotion they ran in May. On this occasion, however, the offer proved to be a lot more popular than anticipated due to the extremely good weather. They said that the promotion was available while stock lasts, and it was their understanding that unfortunately the stock was sold out when the complainant presented to the store. They said that they have since run a similar promotion and that they had worked with their supplier to ensure stock did not sell out and they had enough stock to respond to the promotion.
The advertisers have advised that to seek to prevent such errors in the future, they will complete a more robust review of all marketing advertising to ensure that promotion dates and stock availability notices are clearly called out to customers, including social media content. They said that if a similar promotion is run in the future, they would continue to ensure that they are capable of meeting the response to the promotion.
Finally, they apologised for the error and assured ASAI that it was never their intention to mislead customers in any way.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the advertisement had been published a week after the promotion had started and while the video had referred to the offer being available “at the moment”, it had also stated that it was “perfect for the bank holiday weekend”,. They also noted that no reference had been made to the dates the offer was valid for, or that it was available while stocks last. While the Committee accepted that the offer had been more popular than the advertisers had expected, they considered that the offer dates and notification regarding stock availability should have been included in the advertising. In the absence of this information the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Sections 4.1, 5.5 and 5.15(c) of the Code.
Action required: The advertisement should not appear in its current form.
The Committee noted the steps being put in place by the advertiser to ensure that similar errors don’t arise in the future.