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Advertiser: MCD Promotions
Medium: Online - Company Website
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.27, 4.28(a), 4.28(b)
An advertisement for an event stated
“Tickets from €51 incl. booking fee
The complainant considered the pricing in the advertisement to be misleading. She tried to book the ticket at the lowest price point indicated in the advertisement but could only get the ticket at the price higher than that advertised.
The advertisers said that when it came to MCD shows at 3Arena, prices would always range for tickets within the venue, and the price of the ticket would always reflect the standard of where it was positioned within the arena. They said that, with this, given the initial ticket price of approximately €51, these tickets would be of a much lower standard in comparison to higher-end priced tickets.
They said that the advertisement containing the €51 price clearly stated that this was a ‘from’ price and that there had been a limited amount of these tickets. They said the tickets were purchased rather swiftly but might have contained some restrictions, again reflective of the ticket price. They said that many organizations take this approach when publicizing such events, and in their many years in operation this has never been an issue.
The advertisers assured the ASAI Executive that this was not a conscious effort to mislead the public into purchasing tickets, as it was the belief at the time when this advertisement was going to print that such tickets – which were available to purchase initially – were on sale to the public. With this, they said the customers had every opportunity to review their ticket purchase in the purchase process. They said that in many cases, lower ticket prices were priced at this price due to their inferior quality, and many potential purchasers were happy to spend a higher ticket price in order to be in closer proximity to the act.
While the ASAI Executive asked the advertisers to confirm how many tickets were available at the advertised ‘from’ price and by what time they were released, no further information was provided by the advertisers.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee noted that it was common practice for event tickets to be sold in price bands. They did not consider that it was misleading per se to advertise ticket availability on a ‘from’ basis, with the lowest price band being highlighted.
The Committee noted the Code requirement that where there is limited availability of some or all of the products being advertised, advertisers should be able to demonstrate that there was a reasonable supply or proportion of each of the products available.
The Committee noted that information on the proportion and timing of the tickets available at the lead in ‘from’ price had not been provided to the ASAI. In the absence of evidence to show that a reasonable proportion of tickets had been available at the lead in price, the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Section 4.28(b).
The Committee noted the advertised event had taken place already and noted there was no further action to be taken in this case. The Committee told the advertisers, however, that in future advertisements, a ‘from’ price for tickets should not be quoted unless there was evidence that there was a reasonable supply of the tickets at the lowest price point.