The NRG Fitness website advertised a free trial stating:
Get in touch and ask us for a Free Trial…”
The complainant made enquiries with the advertiser about availing of the free trial. He was advised that he would have to pay €12 and should he join it would be deducted from the cost of the membership. As there was no mention of the €12 charge in the advertising he considered the advertising to be misleading.
The advertiser stated that were the complainant to join their facility as a member then the €12 fee would immediately be deducted from their membership fee, thereby providing a free trial.
They apologised for the miscommunication through their advertising and stated that they would ensure that each staff member would, going forward, honour the advertising offer.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that there was a charge of €12 to avail of the trial and, while the charge was refunded to those who joined the facility, they did not consider that the trial could be described as free and the advertising should, therefore, have made reference to the €12 charge. In the circumstances the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of section 3.21 of the Code.
The advertisement must not reappear in its current form.