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Reference: 26701 / 26786
Product: Horticulture (Flowers)
Advertiser: Vampire Princess
Medium: Internet (Third Party Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10
The advertising on adverts.ie referred to the following:
“Rainbow Roses seeds 100 pcs in 1 pack…”
“Black Roses with Red Stripe seeds 100 pcs in 1 pack…”
“INCREDIBLY EASY TO GERMINATE - ALONG WITH Rainbow Rose THESE ARE THE EASIEST EXOTIC PLANT OR FLOWER SEEDS YOU WILL EVER GROW…”
The complainant said that having spoken to professional gardeners and carried out his own background research on the roses, it appeared that Rainbow Roses were dyed cut flowers. This consisted of a white rose being cut and placed into dyed water, as the rose continued to feed after being cut, it absorbed the dyes which were placed in the water, thus resulting in rainbow coloured petals. The complainant said it was misleading on the advertiser’s part to create the impression that these roses were real and would grow in Ireland.
The complainant said that he was also advised by gardening professionals that black rose seeds will not grow in Ireland. Once again he said the advertising for these seeds was misleading as they do not germinate or grow in Ireland.
The advertiser said that she had added the following information to her advertising:
“IMPORTANT: I am not the manufacturer of those seeds. I didn’t planted [sic] those seeds ever, I just reselling them. I got the germination process from the manufacturer. I reselling the same seeds as other shops and resellers. I just got bigger quantity so I selling them for cheaper. You might ask around the shops as well for the success or fail rate of the product, and decide for yourself to give a try or not.”
The advertiser also said that she was not willing to refrain from advertising the products.
The Executive asked a botanical expert for their opinion on the roses being advertised. They said that Black Roses did not exist except via Photoshop work on the image and that Rainbow Roses did not come true from seed but were mechanical constructs requiring the use of dyes and much work. The Expert said that both types of roses Rose cultivars (1) only came true from cuttings and the products offered did not exist in their advertised format.
(1) a variety of plant produced from a natural species and maintained by cultivation (Collins Concise Dictionary, 4th Edition 1999).
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertiser’s response. They noted the comments from the Botanical Expert that the products did not exist as advertised and also that substantiation for the claims had not been provided. In the absence of relevant substantiation, the Committee concluded that the advertising was likely to mislead consumers and was in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.
The advertisement should not run in the same format again and a copy of the adjudication should be provided to Adverts.ie. The Committee also requested that the matter be brought to the attention of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. (CCPC)