The advertisement for the free earwax removal voucher stated the following regarding the clinics where this service was available:
“FREE Earwax Removal available at the following clinics
CORK – 27 Marlboro Street – 021 427 2565
Bishopstown, Bantry, Fermoy, Midleton, Bandon, Mallow, Killarney, Tralee, Kenmare & Limerick”
The complainant considered the advertisement to be misleading as it stated the service was available at several clinics. When he attempted to make an appointment in one of the clinics listed, he was advised the service was available in the Cork City clinic only.
The advertisers said that the complainant’s comments were valid. They said that their hearing services were available at all of the addresses listed in the advertisement. They said that with regards to the wax removal service, however, the ‘Earwax Removal Voucher’ was available at all of the addresses but that the earwax removal service was available at the Cork address only.
They accepted that their advertisement was unclear and said that it shall not be used again in this form. They had taken steps to ensure that there would be absolute accuracy in their advertising.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that while several clinics were featured in the advertisement as having the wax removal service available, it was available in the Cork clinic only. They considered that the inclusion of a number of clinics where the service was not available in the advertisement was likely to mislead the consumers. In the circumstances the Committee considered the advertising was in breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.
As the advertising had been withdrawn, no further action was required in this instance.