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Advertiser: Carrolls Irish Gifts
Medium: Internet (Company Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10
The product description for Doogan’s Donegal Socks on the advertisers’ website stated:
“Looking to get a fantastic gift for a loved one? Or are you interested in getting yourself
something nice and Irish? Well, with these socks you can do both!
Made from pure Irish wool and produced right here on the Emerald Isle, these socks are
amazingly comfy and incredibly durable. Perfect for walking, as well as for lounging
around the house, these socks will keep your feet warm throughout winter.
So if you want to make yourself or a loved one happy, grab a pair today!
-Genuine Irish Walking Socks
-100% Pure Wool
-Made in Co. Donegal, Ireland”
A complaint was received from Donegal Socks, who felt it was untrue that the product
advertised was “Made in Co. Donegal, Ireland” as claimed. They also queried whether
the product was made in Ireland at all. The complainants said that they were the sole
manufacturer of Donegal Socks and that the advertisement was therefore misleading and
detrimental to their own business.
The advertisers said that they had amended the advertisement immediately following
receipt of the complaint. They explained that the initial product description was based on
the product packaging which referred to Donegal, Ireland and that, on review, they may
have made an incorrect assumption regarding the manufacturing location on this basis.
They said that, in addition to the website amendment which had been made, they had
also implemented a sign-off procedure from the Head of Ecommerce on all new content
created, which they confirmed was live in order to provide their customers with accurate
They said that the issue was the result of a genuine error that showed a weakness in their
control environment which they had since corrected. They also said they had brought the
matter to the attention of all staff in order to demonstrate the importance of providing
clear and accurate information.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’
They acknowledged that the issue appeared to be the result of a genuine error and they
welcomed both the changes made to the advertisement and the new procedure
implemented by the advertisers to avoid a similar issue occurring in the future.
The Committee noted that it had been accepted by the advertisers that the product was
not manufactured in Donegal. They also noted that substantiation had not been
submitted to demonstrate that the product was manufactured in Ireland. They therefore
considered that the product description had been misleading as it appeared at the time of
the complaint. In the circumstances, the Committee concluded that the advertisement
was in breach of Code sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10.
As the advertisement had already been amended, no further action was required.