The link to the advertisers’ website was provided via Facebook where the following information was displayed in a banner on the home page”.
“1 cent laser hair removal sale”.
An icon featuring an image representing a calendar and the text “Book a Free Consultation” was at the right hand side of the webpage and when clicked linked to the following information:
“Whether you are looking for results-driven laser hair
removal or advanced body or skin treatments, our
highly trained therapists will recommend the best
possible treatment to suit your individual needs.
Fill in the contact form to the right and one of our
friendly staff members will give you a call to arrange your
You can also give us a call on ….”
The complainant said she filled out her details on the contact form provided and included the details in relation to the treatments she wished to have carried out. She was then contacted by the clinic and was advised that the free consultation only applied to those who wished to avail of laser hair removal treatments. She was informed that if she required a consultation she would have to provide her credit/debit card details to enable the advertisers to debit her account by €30, this €30 would then be deducted from any treatments she wished to avail of. The complainant said she considered the advertising to be misleading as it had not stated that the free consultation applied to laser hair removal only. She was also concerned that if she decided not to have any treatments she would be at a loss of the €30 debited from her account.
The advertisers failed to respond to the complaint.
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and expressed their concern at the advertisers’ failure to respond in the matter. They reminded them that there is an onus on advertisers to ensure that their advertising is in conformity with the Code.
In the absence of a response from the advertisers and the fact that they had not demonstrated that their free offer was not misleading, the Complaints Committee upheld the complaint under Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 5.22(a), (b) and (c) of the Code.
The advertising should not be used in the same format again.