The website in the brochure displayed colour options available for Kia eSoul model.
The brochure contained the following statement:
“Due to the limits of the printing process, the car body colours shown may differ slightly from actual colours.”
The complainant purchased the car model and considered that the colour that was delivered was materially different from that which was advertised in the brochure and website. The complainant chose red as the advertised colour was an earthy looking metallic red, however, the exterior was a completely different colour - a fire engine red, non-metallic. He considered that the colour delivered was nothing like what was advertised. The complainant forwarded a photograph of the car he had purchased to show the colour that was present. He considered the advertising to be misleading and false.
The advertisers said that they were aware of a customer with a complaint of this nature and as this was the only similar complaint ever that they could recall. They assumed that the complainant who had complained to the ASAI and to them was the same person. They said that unfortunately it was not possible to recreate a car colour accurately in either CMYK (print) or RGB (digital) and that the colours featured on their brochures and website did not and could not fall under a category of misleading advertising. They said that it was their experience that consumers visit a Kia Showroom to order their vehicles and verify their choice of colour there on either the model they were purchasing or on another model in the range. They said that they were always sorry when a retail customer was disappointed with their purchase but rejected the claim that this customer was subject to “misleading advertising”.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted their comments regarding not being possible to recreate a car colour accurately digitally and in print.
The Committee viewed both the advertised colour of the car and the photograph submitted by the complainant. While they understood that there may be differences in colour, they did not consider that the statement that the car body colours may “differ slightly from actual colours” to be accurate in this instance when comparing the colour of the car purchased against the brochure. In the circumstances, they considered the advertisement to be in breach of sections 4.1 and 4.4, of the Code.
Action required: The advertisement must not appear in the current form.