The advertisement referred to the following:
“Lightrabbit Ireland’s best independent LED store…”
We are the UK’s and Ireland’s No 1 supplier of replacement LED Bulbs and LED Lamps…”
“Place your order before 3pm for Next Day, Free Delivery.”
The complainant considered the advertising to be misleading on the following grounds.
1. He queried the claim that Lightrabbit were “Ireland’s best Independent LED store”.
2. The complainant also said that the there was a delivery charge of €4.99 on all orders from Ireland and that delivery was not in fact ‘free’ as advertised. When he queried the charge with the advertisers he was informed that free delivery applied to the UK only.
The advertisers said that they operated a number of websites selling LED lighting in the UK, Ireland, France and Germany. Some aspects, information and products contained within these websites were specific to particular countries, while other information was uniform across all their websites.
They said that their various offers to their customers could again be across all websites or specific to certain jurisdictions, and the offer for free next day delivery was a short term offer to UK customers only. Unfortunately, when adding the information concerning this offer to their website, it was inadvertently included on the front page of their Irish website as well. They said that as soon as they were made aware of their error, the information was removed from the homepage of the Irish website. It had only related to one line of text on the homepage and all of their terms and conditions relating to delivery on the Irish website were correct with regards to the cost of delivery and delivery times for their Irish customers.
The Secretariat asked the advertisers to comment on their claim to be “Ireland’s best independent LED store”. To date the advertisers have not responded on this claim.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
1. They acknowledged that while a genuine error appears to have occurred in relation to the information provided on free delivery in Ireland, which had been corrected by the advertisers as soon as it was brought to their attention, there was an onus on all advertisers to ensure that their advertising was in conformity with the Code. The Committee upheld the complaint under Sections 2.22 and 2.24 of the Code.
2. The Committee noted that the advertisers had not provided substantiation for their claim to be “Ireland’s best Independent LED store”. They reminded them that there was an onus on them to be able to provide substantiation for any claims made in their advertising. In view of the fact that the advertisers had not provided substantiation for this claim, the Committee upheld the complaint under Section 2.9 of the Code.
The Committee noted that the information in relation to free delivery in Ireland had been corrected and no further action was required in relation to this element of the Complaint.
The Committee also noted, however, that the advertisers had not substantiated their claim to be “Ireland’s best Independent LED store” and without such substantiation they reminded them that this claim should not be used in their advertising.