The radio advertising with a male voiceover referred to the following:
“You know there’s no great secret why more people choose to park at Dublin Airport than anywhere else when flying off on business, it’s about getting there faster. And now there’s complimentary fast track through security and a free coffee when you book the short term car park on dublinairport.com. Just a short stroll to departures, park for less than you think and see why more people choose to park at Dublin Airport car parks. Book now on dublinairport.com and get closer, quicker. Terms and conditions apply.”
The internet banner stated:
“TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY
Complimentary Fast Track and a free coffee when you book Short Term Car Parking midweek online. Dublin Airport.
Park at Dublin Airport. Get Closer Quicker.”
The complainant considered that he had been misled by the advertising. He booked his car into the D.A.A. car park from Monday to Friday and did not receive his free cup of coffee or free fast track access as indicated in the advertising.
The advertisers referred to the the terms and conditions which were available online. They included the following:
“Parking limited to time/day. Offer only valid for those parking mid-week in our short term car park. Entry from Sunday to Thursday only. Hours of entry must be between 5am & 8pm. Maximum duration of 3 days only. Subject to availability. This offer must be booked before the 14th March 2014. Customers must enter on or after the 23rd February 2014 and exit on or before the 14th March 2014. This offer is not available for durations longer than 3 days and is not available for entry at the weekend (Friday & Saturday).
Valid for online bookings only …”
Advertisers’ Further Response:
In response to a request for further information from the ASAI Secretariat, the advertisers said that in keeping with their standard practice, the terms and conditions relating to the offer were readily available on their website. They said that the closing date for the offer had also been defined in the terms and conditions. They also considered that their radio advertising had made it quite clear that the offer in question was a promotional offer by using the word “now there is a complimentary…”
The said that they always strive to make their communications as clear as possible and they would never intentionally mislead their valued customers.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response They noted that while the radio advertisement had alerted consumers to the fact that the offer in question had to be booked online, they considered the fact that the offer only applied to midweek bookings to be a major condition and one which such should have been mentioned in the main copy of the radio advertisement.
The Complaints Committee also considered that terms and conditions (T&C’s) attached to offers should be readily accessible to consumers.
They noted in this case that the terms and conditions had been provided on a different webpage to the offer and had been difficult to find. To access the T&C’s users had to click on the link to terms and conditions at the bottom of the homepage, then click on car parking, then pre-booking terms and conditions and finally the offer in question.
The Committee said that while it was acceptable to provide terms and conditions on a different webpage, a link should be provided directly from the offer to the terms and conditions to ensure that consumers were aware of any conditions which may influence their decision in deciding whether or not to participate in the offer. In the circumstances the Committee upheld the complaint under Sections 2.23, 3.15 and 3.16 of the Code.
The advertising must not run in the same format again.