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Advertiser: Bow Lane Social
Medium: Online - Company Website
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 3.10, 5.5, 5.15(a), 5.16, 9.2, 9.8(a), 9.8(b)
A promotional offer on the advertisers’ website for their A la Carte Menu stated:
“A la Carte Menu
Available Thursday to Saturday from 5pm until late
2 Courses €20 or 3 Courses €25 (supplements are extra)
All our Beef is 100% Irish Origin / Please see the board for our daily specials
A discretionary service charge of 12.5% will be added to parties of 6 or more
Bow Lane 17/18 Aungier Street, Dublin, D02 XF38”
The complainant viewed the offer on the advertisers’ website for their A la Carte menu. On visiting the premises to avail of the offer, they were advised that the offer of 2 courses for €20 or 3 courses for €25 was only available in conjunction with a €30 ‘bottomless’ drinks deal. As this information had not been included in the advertising, the complainant considered it to be misleading.
The ASAI challenged whether the use of “bottomless” in connection with alcohol was compliant with the Code.
The advertisers considered that the complaint had arisen due to a breakdown in communication of the terms and conditions of the offer available. They advised that they had reiterated the terms and conditions of the offer to their staff. They said that the terms of the offer for their Free Flow Supper Club Offer were a set two course menu for €20 or three course menu for €25 and that, if desired, the diner could add bottomless drinks for €30 per person with a maximum sitting time of two hours. They said that the menu was and always had been available on its own. They said that it was simply human error or a breakdown in the understanding and communication of the offer and that there was no attempt to deceive a valued customer. They provided the Executive with full details of the Free Flow Supper Club website which stated:
“Free Flow Supper Club
Enjoy two or three courses from the menu and bolt on bottomless for only 30 euros extra per person from the following range of drinks: prosecco, house wine, Beers, Seasonal Margaritas, Southside Strawberry Gin, Bow Lane Boomerang, Bloody Mary.
Available Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights.
2 Courses for €20 or 3 Courses for €25 (supplements are extra)
Bolt on Bottomless €30 per person.”
At the bottom of the menu were the terms of the offer:
“There’s just a few T&C’s: No chugging, we want you to walk out not fall out. There’s a two-course dinner minimum per person and there’s a 2 hour maximum sitting time.”
They also said that (at the time of response) no wording had been changed since they had last updated the menu.
No comments were received regarding their alcohol offer.
Complaint Upheld In Part
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ representative’s response.
Issue 1 Not Upheld:
The Committee noted that the A la Carte Menu offer was available to purchase as a standalone offer, as advertised, and that the issue experienced by the complainant appeared to be as a result of a miscommunication by staff. In the circumstances the Committee did not uphold this aspect of the complaint.
Issue 2 Upheld:
The Complaints Committee expressed concern at the advertisers’ failure to respond in the matter. They reminded them that there is an onus on advertisers to ensure that their advertising is in conformity with the Code.
The Committee noted that the alcohol offer was time-limited and that food was available throughout the period. The Committee considered however that the use of “Bottomless” implied and encouraged excessive and immoderate consumption of alcohol. In the circumstances, and in the absence of a response, the Committee considered that the advertising of the “Bottomless” offer was in breach of Code Sections 3.10, 9.8 (a) and (b) of the Code.
The advertising of the alcohol offer must not reappear in its current form. The Committee advised the advertisers to remove terms such as “Bottomless” or similar in connection with alcohol offers.