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Advertiser: Nestle (Ireland) Ltd
Medium: Social Media (Twitter)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 5.5, 5.15(a), 5.15(b), 5.15(c), 5.15(d), 5.15(e), 5.15(f), 5.15(g), 5.15(h), 5.15(i), 5.16, 5.17, 5.18, 5.22(a), 5.22(b), 5.22(c)
A pinned tweet by Nescafé Dolce Gusto UK & Ireland stated:
“Order now and benefit from FREE* standard delivery when you purchase just 3 boxes of pods on our webshop, instead of our standard requirement of 4 boxes. Hurry, your flash offer is available for less than 48 hours only! Ends 22:00pm Sunday 17th December 2017. *T&C’s apply.”
The complainant viewed the pinned tweet and used the link within the tweet which brought her to the Dolce Gusto UK website where there was an option to stay on the UK site or be re-directed to the Irish website. The complainant said that free delivery applied to purchases (of 3 boxes of pods) via the UK site but that a similar purchase via the Irish website resulted in a delivery charge of €4.50.
The complainant noted that the term ‘T&C’s apply’ had been included in the advertisement but said that they were difficult to find especially as Irish consumers were re-directed to the Irish website.
The advertisers said that the pinned Tweet appeared on Friday, 15th December until Sunday, 17th December. They said that they received a consumer complaint by direct message and by an open Tweet in December and their Consumer Services team contacted that person directly regarding their complaint. They said that they had also received two other complaints regarding the offer’s availability in Ireland.
They said that when they received the complaint alerting them to the error in the Tweet, they deleted the Tweet. They accepted that the offer did imply that free delivery was available in Ireland and had not made the distinction between any promotional terms for the UK and Ireland and they also accepted that the link to the Irish web shop had not sufficiently explained that there was a delivery charge for orders for the Republic of Ireland. They said, however, that there was no intent to deceive consumers and that the error was an oversight within the promotional team to specifically reference the fact that the offer only applied to the UK. They reiterated that once they became aware of the error, they acted swiftly to take down the post. Finally, they said that they have subsequently reviewed and amended their Twitter policy and processes to safeguard against the potential of any similar incidents in the future and their social media team will be undergoing additional training regarding the terms of the ASAI Code to ensure that they do not have a reoccurrence of this event.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the advertisers had deleted the pinned Tweet once they had received a complaint and they welcomed the steps taken to ensure that future similar incidents did not occur.
The Committee noted that the advertisers had one Twitter account that applied to both the UK and the Republic of Ireland and that the pinned Tweet, while notifying readers that the free offer was subject to terms and conditions, had not specifically stated that the offer applied only to residents of the UK. In the circumstances, the Committee considered that the pinned Tweet was in breach of Sections 4.1, 5.5 and 5.15(e) of the Code.
The Committee noted the undertaking by the advertiser in regards to future similar offers and that they had deleted the Tweet as soon as they had become aware of the error. In the circumstances, the Committee considered that further action was not required.