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Advertiser: Redcastle Oceanfront Hotel
Medium: Social Media (Company's Own Page)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 5.5
The advertisement that was featured on the advertisers’ social media page stated the following:
“This June, your Bestie goes free!
1 Night B&B
2 Course Dinner
Chocolates and Glass of Bubbly
One 25-Minute Spa Treatment
One €10 Spa Credit
Round of Golf for Two
All From Only €139 per room! Book Now! https://crowd.in/ccJOBx”
The complainant considered the advertisement to be misleading as it stated ‘one 25-minute spa treatment’ and considered that it was one treatment per person as the ‘bestie’ goes free. He was advised by the advertisers’ that the spa treatment was for one person only and that the ‘one €10 spa credit’ could have been used towards the other treatment which was not free.
The advertisers said that the offer details clearly stated that the package included one spa treatment, which was also visible in the screenshot the complainant provided. To give further clarification, they said that the round of golf was for two people, therefore they included ‘Round of golf for two’ and listed the offer details and the price:
• One night bed and breakfast
• A two course evening meal
• One 25 minute spa treatment
• One €10 spa credit
• Round of golf for two
• All from €139 in total for two.
They also included a screenshot of the offer details and terms and conditions on the booking engine and on the website.
The terms and conditions on the booking engine stated the following:
Subject to availability. Available May and June 2019 dates. Spa treatment must be pre-booked at booking stage. Choose one of following 25 minute treatment options: Express Facial, Hydrotherapy bath, Indian Head Massage, Express Manicure or Express Pedicure. €10 Spa credit is valid on bookings over 55 minutes, does not include Beauty Room or Sugar Room treatments, cannot be used against already discounted packages. Round of golf is non transferable.
The terms and conditions on the web offer landing page stated the following:
• Subject to availability.
• Available May and June 2019 dates.
• Spa-treatment must be pre-booked at booking stage.
• Choose one of following 25 minute treatment options: Express Facial, Hydrotherapy bath, Indian Head Massage, Express Manicure or Express Pedicure. €10 Spa credit is valid on bookings over 55 minutes, does not include Beauty Room or Sugar Room treatments, cannot be used against already discounted packages.
• Round of golf is non-transferable.
They said that their intention from the ‘Bestie goes free’ caption was to imply that the ‘Bestie’ would receive the free / included treatment, as the package price was half of the usual price for the month of June. They said that this was their best-selling offer, which was live for a 6 week period. They said this was the only complaint they had received, directly or indirectly, highlighting any confusion with the package offering. They said they had a significant marketing campaign with the offer.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted the terms and conditions for the offer.
The Committee noted that the advertisement detailed the items included in the offer including “1 Night B&B” and “2 Course Dinner”. Neither of these items stated, ‘for two people’ but that was the implication as the headline was “… Bestie goes free”. In light of this, while the reference to the 25 minute spa treatment was prefaced by “One”, the Committee considered it was ambiguous whether this was one treatment per person or one treatment per offer.
In the circumstances, the Committee concluded the advertisement was in breach of section 4.1 of the Code.
The advertisement must not appear in the same format again.