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Advertiser: Re Fashion Distribution Limited
Medium: Direct Mail
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10
The advertising was received as a direct mail package containing a clothing collection bag. The front side of the package stated, ‘Treating Children with Cancer – Our company supports “Treating Child with Cancer” on monthly basis, which provide support to children and their families who are affected’ [Sic.]. On the reverse side of the package, there was further information about which items could be collected, which day they would be collected on, as well as a contact phone number and the website address.
The complainant considered that the advertising was misleading. While the advertising stated “Our company supports ‘Treating Children with Cancer’ on a monthly basis, …”, the complainant said that the advertisers’ website stated that “everything we collect is sold in European department stores” and that “depending on the amount of items we collect and the processing cost, we contribute money to charitable foundations”. The complainant therefore believed that the advertising claim related to monthly support for “Treating Child with Cancer” was misleading as such contributions were only made where a profit on the sales of the collected clothing was generated.
The advertisers did not respond to a request for comment.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Complaints Committee expressed concern at the advertisers’ failure to respond to the complaint. They reminded them that there is an onus on advertisers to ensure that their advertising is in conformity with the Code.
The Committee noted the requirements of the Code that marketing communications should not mislead, or be likely to mislead, by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise (4.1) and that advertisers should not exploit the credulity, inexperience or lack of knowledge of consumers (4.4).
They noted that evidence to support the claim in the advertising that monthly contributions were made to the named charity had not been submitted to the ASAI and in light of this, and in the absence of a response from the advertisers, the Committee concluded that the advertisement was in breach of sections 3.10, 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.
Action Required: The advertising must not reappear in its current form.