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Advertiser: Ford Ireland
Medium: Internet, Internet (Company Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.22
A Google ad for Ford Ireland promoted:
“Ford servicing for €129”
Upon clicking through to the advertisers’ website, the service page listed the various elements included in the service and said:
“All for just RRP €149 (All Ford cars)
RRP €169 (Transit Courier/Transit Connect)
RRP €199 (Transit Custom/ Transit Van)”
After clicking “Book Your Appointment Now” the following page listed the below service options:
“4 Years/80000 KM Blue Service €199.00
5 Years/100000 KM Blue Service €199.00
General Appointment PoR”
The complainant considered the advertised prices to be misleading as the final price he was quoted was €199, which was higher than that initially promoted.
The advertisers said that they acknowledged the Google Adwords copy stating “Ford servicing for €129” was incorrect and should not have been advertised as such at that particular time. They confirmed this National Recommended Pricing (NRP) and associated advertisement were correct at a point in time, but that they had since updated their Ford Motorcraft Service NRP which had not been reflected in their Google Adwords campaign.
They said that the correct NRP for a Ford Motorcraft Service started at €149 as correctly presented in the second advertisement. They said that after this error was brought to their attention, they withdrew the relevant copy and replaced it with correct information. Furthermore, they advised, they also put in place a more robust process with their applicable advertising agencies to ensure this error does not reoccur.
They said that in relation to the third advertisement, the price of €199 pertained to a “Ford Blue Service” which was a different service product offering to a “Ford Motorcraft Service” and therefore attracted different national recommended retail pricing figures.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted that the search advertisement “Ford servicing for €129” had been withdrawn and that a more robust process had been implemented to ensure that out-of-time offers are withdrawn.
In relation to the presentation of the offer on the website, the Committee noted that the advertising stated “All for just RRP €149 (All Ford Cars)” whereas when the consumer attempted to book a service for that price, they were offered a Ford Blue Service at €199. The Committee noted that two different service options were involved, the Ford Motorcraft Service and the Ford Blue Service. They considered that the wording “All for” was likely to mislead when it was a starting price, a ‘from’ price.
In the circumstances they considered the advertisement was in breach of Code sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.22.
The advertisement must not reappear in its current form.