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Medium: Internet (Company Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10
The homepage of the company website stated:
“69 Shows Completed
38 Weekend Festivals Completed
15 Upcoming Events in 2019”
The complainant said that he had previously worked with the directors of Showtimes.ie through his own company, Showtours, and he was aware that the actual number of shows completed by Showtimes.ie was four, not sixty-nine. He felt that the advertisers were attempting to mislead customers by implying an existing affiliation with Showtours through the exaggerated number of completed events quoted.
The advertisers said that it was not their intention to be associated with the complainant’s company or to confuse people into thinking that might be the case. They said that their own logo and company name were mentioned and shown many times on their website, advertising and social media accounts.
They said that both company directors had been in the business of entertainment for nearly forty years each and that, in that time, they had completed an unquantifiable amount of shows and tours. They said that they had run four shows this year and had a further nineteen shows contracted. They provided venue details and posters for a number of these upcoming shows.
The ASAI Executive requested that the advertisers provide evidence of having completed the number of shows quoted on their website. The advertisers advised that due to an office flooding last year they had lost all their computers and event posters and were therefore unable to provide this substantiation. They said that they would remove the figures quoted on their website for ‘shows completed’ and would instead display only the figure for their upcoming shows.
After the above amendment was made, the website stated:
“11 Shows Completed”
The Executive requested information relating to the eleven shows quoted, to which the advertisers responded that they had amended the website further due to a number of show cancellations. The website then stated:
“9 Shows Completed”
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted the changes put forward by the advertisers. They also noted the Code requirements in relation to substantiation set out in Code sections 4.9 and 4.10.
In light of the lack of such substantiation, the Committee considered the advertisement was potentially misleading and therefore in breach of Code sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10.
As the changes had been put forward by the advertisers, no further action was required.