The advertising referred to the following:
“Just answer the question below to be in with a chance to WIN!
Where is the new Zest Fitness studio located?”
Entrants to the competition were asked to provide their contact details and the terms and conditions referred to the following:
“Terms and conditions:
• The prize is non-refundable and non-transferable
• Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice
• There is no alternative for any cash prizes
• Entry into competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions
• Competition closes at 2pm on Friday 8th July 2016
• Winner will be notified via email”
Entrants were then provided with the option to submit their entry to the competition.
The complainant said she entered the competition and sometime later noticed that the closing date to the competition had been extended. The complainant considered the advertising to be misleading.
The advertisers said the prize to this competition consisted of a month’s free personal training sessions at Zest Fitness. They said the competition went live on their website on 8th June and was to remain on site until Friday 8th July. They said while this type of competition normally performed well with their audience they considered that many people were on holidays at that point in time and the entries to the competition were slow. The advertisers decided to extend the closing date of the competition to allow time for further entries.
The advertisers said while they had never intentionally set out to mislead their audience that their decision to extend the closing date to the competition had been incorrect. Going forward they said they would ensure to strictly adhere to the original closing date stated in their marketing communications and avoid giving rise to similar complaints.
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted that the advertisers accepted they had made an incorrect decision in extending the competition’s closing date in this case, nevertheless in doing so they had breached Sections 5.5, 5.18 and 5.32 of the Code.
The Committee noted that the advertisers confirmed they would not extend the closing dates to their competitions again and no further action was required in this case.