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Advertiser: Carrolls Irish Gifts
Medium: Online - Company Website
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 3.2, 4.1, 4.4, 4.6, 4.7, 4.9, 4.10
A webpage on the advertisers’ website listed the sale of a “[Redacted] Brushed Woollen Scarf”. Text beneath the product image described the scarf as “…the perfect Irish gift”.
The complainant considered the advertising to be misleading as when researching the product found that the “[Redacted]” brand was not of Irish origin and the scarves were not made in Ireland.
The advertisers stated that they sold products associated with both traditional and modern Ireland. They said that examples of such products were jewellery that followed a design approach emanating from traditional Celtic methods to products that featured sheep. Something they advised many overseas consumers associated with Ireland.
The advertisers stated that they were a gift store and while a customer could go into any Irish high street store and purchase a gift, they chose to come into Carroll’s Irish Gifts stores and buy from them because the products they sold had an aspect intrinsically linked to Ireland, therefore making their gifts, ‘Irish gifts’.
In relation to their knitwear, the advertisers stated that they stocked products which featured traditional stitch designs that originated in Ireland centuries ago. They said that this made them internationally recognisable as unique to Ireland hence they were referred to as ‘Irish knitwear’ on their website.
The advertisers stated that the product highlighted in this complaint was a popular product for customers seeking an Irish Gift as it had a style that drew from traditional Celtic tartan clothing patten style. They expressed that they were very careful not to make claims or insinuate a product was manufactured in Ireland if it wasn’t. In this case, they stated that the scarf clearly showed its manufacturers origin and where any of their Irish products were made in Ireland, they called it our clearly in store and online, but only for that specific product.
Carrol’s Irish Gifts stated that based on above, they were satisfied that the wording online, instore and on the product, itself were honest and truthful, did not mislead, did not hide details or make any false claims.
The advertisers also enclosed imagery of in store signage on certain products which read “Handmade in Ireland”.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee noted the comments in relation to the product, which was not made in Ireland, as being inspired by Irish designs. However, they considered that the use of the term “Irish gift” with the product, in the absence of qualifying information on the product webpage regarding its provenance, had the potential to mislead and they concluded that the advertisement was in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.09 and 4.10 of the Code
Product webpages should include information on the provenance of products where references to ‘Irish’ were used in relation to the product.