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Product: Clothing/Footwear (Sportswear)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 4.1, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.9, 4.10
The point-of-sale poster outside the Asics Kildare Village Outlet store/shop referred to the following promotion:
“Super Thursday 3 for 2 on the entire store*
The asterisk was linked to smaller print which stated the following:
* lower priced item free
* exclusions may apply
The complainant considered that the claim the promotion was off the ‘entire store’ in the headline offer and the statement that ‘exclusions may apply’ was misleading as exclusions applied to the promotion.
The advertisers said that the relevant asterisk attached to the small print outlined that the lower priced item (of the 3) would be free and that exclusions applied to the offer. They said the promotion had applied to all ASICS apparel and accessories with some exclusions to footwear.
The advertisers said that a “3 for 2” offer had the potential to be very attractive to consumers. They considered the fact that it was clearly part of a “Super Thursday” promotion showed that it was a temporary offer and the small print had indicated that exclusions applied. They considered, therefore, that the average consumer would understand that the offer was not available on all goods, and they did not consider their advertising was misleading.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the promotional headline had stated that the offer applied to the entire store and while it had been linked to smaller text by the use of an asterisk, the small print had stated that ‘exclusions may apply’ when in fact, exclusions did apply. The Committee, therefore, considered that the footnote information had contradicted the headline offer. They reminded retailers that it was not acceptable to publish offers which suggested that all stock was subject to a particular reduction or on sale while providing for exclusions, even where the headline was linked by way of an asterisk or similar to the qualification. In the circumstances, the Committee concluded that the advertising was in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.5 and 4.6 of the Code.
The advertising should not appear in the same format again.