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Product: Motoring (Car Parking)
Medium: Online, Radio
Radio advertisements for Quickpark on Radio Nova stated:
Sting 1:“This is Radio Nova. Time for more music already? That was quick, like Quick Park, the fastest, cheapest parking in Dublin Airport. Book online at quickpark.ie.”
Sting 2: “Boom. Ads done. Music ready
Radio Nova with Pat Courtney brought to you by those nice people at quickpark.ie and Dublin Airport
With five minute transfers to departures round the clock.”
Sting 3: “Radio Nova
With Pat Courtney and Quick Park. We provide the tunes.
Quickpark.ie provides the cheapest, fastest parking at Dublin Airport.”
Sting 4: “Nova Drive with Pat Courtney with thanks to quickpark.ie
The cheapest, fastest parking at Dublin Airport.”
“Hear that? That’s yet another Quick Park at Dublin Airport shuttle bus making the five minute transfer to departures. And another. We do it every five minutes 24 hours a day. At Quick Park we’re not just the fastest, we’re the cheapest too. This February park from as little as €3 per day when you prebook online at quickpark.ie. Book 15 days parking now for only €45 and you can use it any time before the end of 2014. Want the fastest, cheapest parking at Dublin Airport? Just book online this month at quickpark.ie.”
Google Search Advertisements:
“Quickpark.ie – Park from €3/day
The fastest, cheapest parking at Dublin Airport. Book online now!
Rates from just €3/day. Great rates when you book your parking online.”
The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) objected to the advertising as they considered that it contained a number of false claims.
In relation to the claim of being the ‘Cheapest’, they stated that Quickpark were not the cheapest parking at Dublin Airport and they provided a copy of a price comparison between Quickpark and the DAA car parks which they considered demonstrated that Quickpark were not the cheapest.
The DAA also considered that the claim to be fastest was misleading as Quickpark claimed that the five minute transfer between their car park and the airport meant that they were the fastest, however, the DAA’s short term car park, which is situated at the airport, was the fastest for customers to get to the airport.
The DAA considered that the advertisers’ claim to have parking from ‘€3 per day’ was misleading as in order to avail of this rate there were pre-booking restrictions involved and that these had not been highlighted in the advertising, nor flagged by way of any reference to terms and conditions. They noted that in order to avail of the rate a customer had to book for 15 days or more.
Quickpark stated that they were established on the key principle of delivering a prompt and reliable shuttle service to the airport terminal. They stated that their five minute shuttle facility has always been fundamental to their success and they were satisfied that they were the only facility delivering, on a consistent basis, this and consequently, it formed a core platform of their marketing campaigns.
On the question of the ‘fastest’ claim, they stated that, as their name stipulates, they were established on the fundamental principle of providing a high quality and high frequency shuttle service to the airport terminal and they consider that they consistently deliver on a five minute frequency. They stated that this was a core fundamental of their product offering and their promotional campaign, and they stand by their ability to deliver in this regard. They have noted that the DAA consider that their short term parking is faster, however, they note that no comparison has been supplied with the DAA’s own long term parking facilities who also state that their travel time is five minutes to the airport. They have also noted that the DAA have defined fastest in terms of distance, however, they considered that distance was irrelevant if a consumer had to wait for 20 minutes for a bus to arrive. They stated that their speed was also based on their frequency of service and that they advertised and delivered on a departure every five minutes.
They also stated that were they compared to the DAA’s short term parking, they considered that the claim by the DAA for it to be the fastest was subjective. They stated that once a consumer had entered the multi-storey short term facility, searched over a number of levels for a parking space, then walked wheeling luggage via escalators and lifts to the airport terminal, it could frequently take in excess of the time taken to be dropped from Quickpark to the door of the terminal. They noted that many of their customers used their facility for this reason and found it more convenient to park in their facility when collecting passengers in arrivals.
They did not consider that the DAA’s comparison with their short term facility was relevant to their promotional campaign. They stated that their radio advertisement had used the sound effect of a bus and had stated that “That’s yet another Quickpark at Dublin Airport shuttle bus making the five minute transfer to departures.” They considered that anyone listening to the advertisement could hear the sound of the bus and would therefore, be aware that their facilities involved a bus transfer.
In regards to the objection to their claim to be cheapest, Quickpark noted the price comparison provided by the DAA and accepted the prices. They attached a price comparison of their own which they considered was more relevant. They stated that it was clear from the wording of their advertising and from listening to their advertising, that their promotional campaign was based upon having the “fastest cheapest” parking at Dublin Airport. They considered that their advertisements and stings clearly focused on a combined proposition of speed and competitiveness. They did not consider that they were isolated criteria and they believed that any discerning listener or visitor to their website would recognise this. They considered that their price comparison highlighted that when both criteria were applied together then Quickpark were on top in virtually all categories and could definitively assert to be the fastest cheapest provider of parking at Dublin Airport.
They also referred to the listenership of Radio Nova as a mature audience who were capable of discerning the wording within their advertising. They said that all promotional rates were only available through their online booking facility and therefore it was a further opportunity to confirm all pricing on their website before proceeding with a booking. They considered that consumers had the opportunity to browse the web for price comparisons between both the product offered and the level of service provided. They considered that this was why Quickpark had put such emphasis on differentiating their product from that of competitors by focusing on the speed and frequency of shuttle service at an attractive price for its customers.
They also stated that they firmly believed that they had complied with the ASAI Code and were disappointed to have received the complaint from the DAA.
The advertisers said that they had not claimed that it was €3 to park in their car park. They stated that the claim was “park from as little as €3 per day when you prebook online at quickpark.ie”. They stated that the word ‘from’ had been used and it had indicated that €3 was a base rate. They stated that this type of pricing strategy was widely used but they believed that by stipulating in the advertisement that it related to bookings of 15 days parking for €45, they had gone significantly further than required.
They also stated that they had specifically referenced the offer as only available online through their online booking on their website and once logged on to their site, their flash banner clearly stipulated the varying pricing structures available on their promotional packages, as 4 days for €20, 7-8 days for €30 and 14-15 days for €45. They considered that the differential between the rates on these packages would be clearly evident to all consumers using their facilities and they considered that the banner must be viewed before processing to their online booking facility. They also stated that the rate was not subject to terms and conditions and was available to everyone.
Complaint upheld in part.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response.
The Committee examined both price comparisons and the other information on travel times provided. They noted the advertisers’ contention that their comparative claims related to the long term car parks provided by the DAA, and that this was clear from the radio advertisement. The Committee did not consider that the sound of a bus in the advertisement was sufficient to make the terms of the comparison clear. They also noted the advertisers’ comments in relation to the time it could take to find a space, etc., in the short term car park but in the absence of actual comparative data on the two services, did not consider that the advertisers had demonstrated that their service was faster than that offered by the short term car park.
In relation to the long term car parks provided by the DAA, the Committee noted that while the advertisers were faster than one of the services provided by the complainants they were not cheaper than it. And while they were cheaper in some cases than their competitor’s express service, the transfer times for both services were given as five minutes. The Committee did note that the advertiser had more frequent transfers.
The Committee also noted that the advertisers’ considered that the claim ‘fastest cheapest’ to be a combined claim i.e. either faster or cheaper, rather than a claim that their service was both fastest and cheapest. The Committee did not accept the advertisers’ interpretation as they considered that consumers would understand the claim to mean that the advertisers’ service was faster than all those of their competitors and cheaper than all those of their competitors. In addition, they also noted that the radio advertising had stated ‘we’re not just the fastest, we’re the cheapest too’. As the advertisers had not demonstrated that they were faster than and cheaper than their competitors in all cases, the Committee considered the advertising had breached Section 2.9 of the Code.
This complaint was upheld.
The Committee noted that the advertising had included the term ‘from’ and that the radio advertisement had referred to pre-booking online. In the light of this the Committee did not consider that the advertising had breached Sections 2.22 and 2.24 of the Code.
This complaint was not upheld.
The Committee told Quickpark that they were not to refer to their service as the “fastest cheapest” option unless they held evidence to substantiate all aspects of their claim.