The advertisers’ webpage referred to the following:
“This stylish Bush 28 Inch HD ready Saorview LED TV is built with an edge-lit TV screen. With a rapid response time and a wide viewing angle of 170° no one is missing out when viewing. It is suitable for wall mounting and projects strong sound through its NICAM sound system.
Television picture quality:
•HD Ready display resolution.
•Screen size: 28 inches
•Resolution 1366 x 768 pixels.
•Motion rate 50Hz.
•Response time 6.5 milliseconds.
•Viewing angle 170/170 degrees.”
The advertisement also offered further information in relation to connectivity, sound quality, digital features, additional features and energy efficiency for the television in question.
The complainant said that he had tried to purchase the television on a number of occasions during the four month period it had been advertised on the advertisers’ website and had been unable to do so. When he queried the availability of the television in Ireland, he was informed by the advertisers that the product would be in stock shortly and to keep checking. He considered that it was misleading for advertisers to continue advertising goods which were not available to purchase.
The advertisers said they had experienced stock issues with the television in question due to a shortage of panels in the market. The television also had to be specially designed to work with the Saorview signal in the Irish market. In addition to this, they also experienced distribution problems, with some of the televisions being distributed to incorrect warehouses which resulted in them being unavailable to purchase in some of their stores. They were working on having this problem rectified.
The advertisers said that while they had sold many units of the television in Ireland they would not be carrying the product through to their 2015 catalogue.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted that the lack of availability appeared to continue over a number of months and considered that the continual advertising of the offer without qualifications was in breach of Section 2.45 of the Code. In the circumstances they upheld the complaint.
The Complaints Committee advised the advertisers that when issues arise with availability of products that they should make reference to the likely delay involved on their website.