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Advertiser: Rip Offs and Good Deals
Medium: Online – Company Social Media Account
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.22, 4.26
A post on the advertisers’ Facebook page stated:
“€109 instead of €352.41 for a Apple iPad Mini 16GB Wi-Fi – Save 69% spotted here
The link included in the advertisement led to an offers website where full details of the offer were stated, including in the highlights section that the product was:
“Refurbished item in Acceptable (Grade C) condition, with clear signs of consistent long-term use. See full details for more information.”
The complainant considered that the advertisement was misleading as it had not stated that the product was a refurbished iPad in Grade C condition. The complainant also considered that it was misleading to include the original price of a new iPad and state that there was a saving of 69% when the product being sold was not new.
The advertisers said that they had no business relationship with the merchant, however, they were affiliates of the offers website where the product was available to purchase, and it was in this capacity that they had created the post. They said that they did no more than repost the advertisement placed by the offer website in its entirety.
They said that in order to view and buy the product, a prospective purchaser was obliged to click on their link to bring them into the merchant’s advertisement, where a detailed description of the product was given including the fact that it was a refurbished model. They therefore considered that no consumer could be misled, and they saw no merit in the complaint.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee reviewed the full offer from the offers website and noted that only the headline offer had been included in the post by the advertisers. The Committee considered that it was not unreasonable for a consumer to expect that a new iPad Mini was being advertised at the reduced price. As the advertisement had not stated that the product on offer was a refurbished item, the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10 and 4.26 of the Code.
The advertisement should not reappear in its current form.
The Committee reminded the advertisers to ensure that all relevant information is included in future similar offers.