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Advertiser: Digital Food Limited / Thetaste.ie
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4c, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10
The email which was sent to subscribers to thetaste.ie newsletter referred to the following:
“EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE PREVIEW
… 4 Course Dinner for 2 & Bottle of Wine and live
Normally €150 /Today Only €62.10
As you are a loyal Taste Customer we are giving you an extra 10% off today, simply enter (code provided here) at the checkout to get this special price.”
The complainant said that the offer was not discounted as indicated. He said he had previously paid €69 for the same offer. He challenged the claim that the meal would normally cost €150 as referenced in the advertising.
The taste.ie said they agreed packages with the best restaurants and hotels in Ireland, and said this is the first complaint they had received in three years. They said that the package involved was based on 2 people dining and selecting the most expensive items on the menu on the night. They set out the cost of the deal as follows:
Most expensive starter €15 x 2 = €30 - Roast Scallops or Lobster Raviolo or Pan Seared Foie Gras
Most expensive Main €32 x 2 = €64 - Turbot or John Dory or Fillet of Beef
Most expensive Side Dish €6 x 2 = €12 - Truffle Fries
Most expensive Dessert €8.50 x 2 = €17 - Eton Mess
Bottle of House Wine = €30 - 4 Different Bottles available
Total Package Value = €153
They said the packages were always exclusive to them and only ever sold by them. They said the confusion which had arisen in this case had been caused by the restaurant advertising the package within the restaurant, leading the complainant to believe that the package advertised by them (thetaste.ie) to be misleading. However they considered it to be clear that it was possible to obtain a massive discount on the package as indicated in their advertising.
FURTHER INFORMATION: The ASAI noted that the offer was also promoted on the restaurant’s own website and vouchers could be bought from the Restaurant or from TheTaste.ie
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted that the savings to be made on the package advertised were based on a customer ordering the most expensive items from the menu. While the advertisement referred to the offer as an “Exclusive Private Preview” the Committee noted that the offer could also be purchased directly from the restaurant concerned for €69. The Committee considered that the advertising had overstated the savings to be made and had also overstated the fact that the offer was an ‘Exclusive Private Preview’ to the Taste.ie. The Committee noted that the only element of the offer exclusive to the Taste.ie was the extra 10% saving (equating to €6.90) available at the till to their loyal customers. The Committee considered the advertising to be in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.
ACTION REQUIRED: The advertisement should not be published in its current format again.