A poster advertising for Gateway Student Village referred to the following:
WHY SHARE A ROOM?
YOUR OWN SINGLE ROOM €99 PER WEEK
FREE CAR PARKING INCLUDING
The complainant considered the advertising to be misleading. He said that accommodation for the academic year cost €139 per week. The cost of €99 per week was only available if the accommodation was booked for a calendar year. He considered that the word ‘from’ should have been included in the prices quoted to avoid causing confusion to students.
The advertisers said that it had never been their intention to mislead with their advertising. They said that they had a number of rooms available, both single and twin at €99 per person per week. This rate was for a minimum stay of 12 months (52 weeks). They said that they had amended their advertising to include the word ‘From’ in front of the quoted price.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted that the advertisers had amended the advertising to indicate that the rate was a ‘from’ rate.
They considered that on the whole the advertising appeared to be addressed to students who were seeking accommodation for the academic year.
As the academic year did not consist of 52 weeks, the price of €99 advertised would never have been achievable by most students.
The Complaints Committee concluded that the advertising was misleading and in breach of sections 2.22 and 2.24 of the Code.
The advertisement should be amended to indicate that the €99 per week rate was based on a 52 week occupancy.