Advertisement 1: Email
Text in a bubble stated:
“Weekend Super Savers!”
With a strapline stating
5 products were featured including:
Naturis Multivitamin Juice
All-In-1 Dishwasher Tablets
Advertisement 2: Leaflet
Text in a bubble with a strapline stated:
“Weekend Super Savers!
up to 50% off”
A photograph of the Chilean Sauvignon Blanc had a price tag on it which said
“SPECIAL OF THE WEEK
Two complaints were received regarding the advertisements.
Complaint 1 regarding advertisement 1 (email):
The complainant considered the advertisement to be misleading. It had stated ‘50% off’, however, some of the prices after the discount were not 50% off.
Complaint 2 regarding advertisement 2 (leaflet):
The complainant considered the advertisement to be misleading as the price of the wine was not 50% off.
The advertisers acknowledged that, having reviewed the advertisements in question, the 50% reduction was not available on all the products listed. They said that while they constantly strive to ensure the context of their advertisements was appropriate and accurate to avoid any possibility of misleading their consumers, on this occasion the inaccuracy was a result of human error. The advertisers said their marketing professionals confirmed the advertisement was intended to communicate that there were reductions of ‘up to 50% off’ (emphasis added). They apologised for the confusion caused and gave their assurances that this was not in any way a deliberate attempt to mislead their consumers. Finally, they said they addressed this issue internally and all copy followed a strict protocol to ensure the errors were kept to a minimum, however on this occasion it appeared the mistake was missed.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee noted that in the instance of the email advertisement while several products were featured, two of the products were less than 50% off.
The Committee also noted that in the instance of the leaflet advertisement while the main headline correctly stated ‘up to 50%’ the wine bottle had a ‘Special of the week 50% off’ tag featured on it, and this product price was not a 50% discount.
The Committee therefore considered that both advertisements were likely to mislead and were in breach of Section 4.1 of the Code.
The advertising must not reappear in its current form.
The Committee also requested the advertisers to make sure that they had processes in place to ensure that errors do not occur.