The advertising on the advertisers’ website referred to the following:
“Ladies Oversized Merino Turtleneck Sweater
Below is a description on how you take measurements:
Chest: Across the chest fabric, from underarm to underarm.
Length: From under the rear collar to waistband.
Sleeve: Middle of the back, across the sleeve cuff.
Womens Garment Dimensions (inches/cm)”
The various measurements were then outlined ranging in size from XS to XXXL. The
Measurements outlined for the small size were as follows:
“A. Chest: 40/102
B. Length: 25/64
C. Sleeve: 31/79”
The advertisers also asked that customers:
“Please note that sizes can vary slightly, especially on hand-knits and that wool does stretch naturally to fit the body.”
The complainant said that she purchased the sweater in a small size but instead of the measurements indicated in the advertising (A:40, B:25, C:31) the actual measurements were A:40, B:23, C:29. When she queried the difference in size with the advertisers she was informed that all the small sizes measured the same as the one she had received. The complainant said that despite emailing the advertisers she had been unable to have the issue resolved.
The advertisers said that the measurements provided by them were for guideline purposes only. They said that they had stated on their website that “sizes can vary slightly, especially on hand-knits and that wool does stretch naturally to fit the body” They also said that they had tried to contact the complainant to find a resolution to the problem but to date they had been unable to resolve the issue. They said that should the complainant return the item to them they would be happy to issue her with a refund.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They accepted that while both parties had been unable to resolve the issue, the onus lay with the advertisers to ensure that the advertising on their website correctly described the product. While noting the statement that ‘sizes can vary slightly’ they considered a two inch difference was a significant variance for this type of garment. In the circumstances the Committee upheld the complaint under Sections 2.22, 2.24 and 2.45 of the Code.
The advertisement should not run in its current form again.