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Product: Leisure (Restaurant)
Advertiser: Drop Dead Twice
Medium: Internet (Third Party Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10
The advertisement on a third party website offered consumers the opportunity to purchase
a voucher which entitled them to a discounted brunch at Drop Dead Twice, a Dublin restaurant. The advertisement featured an image of an ice bucket in the top right hand corner with a bottle protruding from the side, this was accompanied by two champagne glasses containing a yellow toned liquid. The advertisement provided the following information:
“This €29.00 voucher entitles the bearer to:
Brunch and ‘bottomless’ bubbly for two people at Drop Dead Twice, Dublin (was up to €52)…”
One voucher per two people (max. four vouchers per table).
May buy multiples as gifts.
Voucher valid until 1st Oct 2018. Valid Sat and Sun, 1pm-5pm.
Must be aged 18 or over with valid photo ID. ‘Bottomless’ bubbly is valid for 90 minutes.
Please drink responsibly; visit https://www.drinkaware.ie/ for more advice.
Menu items subject to change.
24-hour cancellation policy applies.
Subject to availability…”
The complainant considered the advertising to be misleading. She said that while the offer had referred to “bottomless bubbly”, which in her opinion the majority of people would consider to be sparkling wine, she was provided with fermented pear juice. She said that the dictionary had confirmed her interpretation of the word.
The advertisers said that at no point in the advertising had they mentioned that they would be supplying sparkling wine or prosecco. They offered the following reasons for not doing so:
1. They said there were many offers currently running in the city offering ‘bottomless bubbles’ and such offers highlight the fact that the bubbles in question are sparkling wine/prosecco. They reiterated that at no point had they referred to sparkling wine/prosecco in their advertising.
2. They said they had sold thousands of vouchers for the offer in question and to date had received no other complaints.
3. They said they considered the complainant’s interpretation of the word ‘bubbles’ to be a matter of opinion and they believed everyone’s opinion to be subjective.
4. They said the complainant paid €29 for a meal for two people including bottomless bubbles for both.
5. The advertisers said they took a very serious approach to people drinking responsibly on their premises. One of the reasons they do not offer a bottomless sparkling wine/prosecco is because the average alcohol by volume (ABV) of such products is 12.5 - 14 %. They said to allow a customer to drink as much as they wanted of an alcohol product in a 90 minute period would not only be irresponsible on their part but also reckless. They do not want people to abuse alcohol, they want them to enjoy themselves.
In conclusion the advertisers said that while the offer was no longer being advertised, at no point had they set out to mislead consumers with their advertising.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Complaints Committee noted the advertisers’ argument that the interpretation of the word ‘bubbles’ was subjective.
The Committee considered, however, that in the context of the advertisement, the most likely understanding would be some form of sparkling wine or prosecco. In coming to this view, the Committee referenced the featured items in the accompanying photograph and the time limitation imposed on the availability of the drink offered.
The Committee concluded that the description of the offer as advertised was misleading and in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.
The use of the word ‘bubbly’ should not be used in future promotions unless the beverage was either a) sparkling wine or prosecco or b) prominent clarification was given as to the nature of the beverage.
By way of general comment, and noting the advertisers’ own view on responsible drinking, the Committee did not consider that offering ‘bottomless’ consumption of any alcohol beverage was consistent with the provisions of the Code and they urged caution in the use of such promotions.