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Medium: Email, Internet (Company Website)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 4.22, 4.27
A webpage on the advertisers’ website was headlined:
“Cyprus is open. Paphos from €39.99
Details of the price of flights to Paphos from Dublin were included underneath the heading:
“Dublin to Paphos from €55.92 one way”
The page also promoted fares to various other destinations within Europe from Irish airports, with the headline above the various destinations stating:
“We’re also flying to Spain, Italy, Greece and more!”
The complainant said that they had received an email, at 16.49 and opened it at 19.00, advertising flights to Cyprus. They forwarded screenshots of the offer on the advertisers’ website and said that they considered that the advertised headline from price of €39.99 was misleading as they were unable to find a flight from any Irish airport to Paphos at the advertised from price of €39.99. The complainant therefore considered that it was misleading to show a headline price that was not available.
The advertisers stated that the fare availability condition was included in the offer terms and conditions across relevant emails and landing pages, and they noted that the complainant had referenced the offer terms in their complaint by way of written description, link to webpage and screenshot. They confirmed that a number of seats had been sold to Cyprus at €39.99 and that the complainant had responded to the popular offer too late.
The Executive referred the advertisers to an adjudication by the Complaints Committee in which the Committee considered that at least 10% of seats should be available at the advertised lead in price. The Executive requested that the advertisers provide information on the percentage of seats available at the advertised from price of €39.99.
The advertisers stated that their campaign was factual and accurate as the dates on which the offer applied to and the terms and conditions were plainly observable within the landing page and that the complainant had responded too late. They said that there were over 30 alternative destinations available on that day, all with pricing of less than that which was promoted, reflecting the accuracy of the campaign and thus presenting substantial differences to the case that was provided as an example by the ASAI Executive.
The advertisers questioned how one complaint could be considered as a fair and just representation of the Irish consumer base which they considered was an absurd and untenable basis for an investigation.
They provided details, on a confidential basis, to the ASAI Executive showing the percentage of seats that were booked from Dublin to Paphos at fares that were less than or equal to the advertised amount of €39.99 was in excess of the minimum 10% requirement, together with documentary evidence of customer bookings.
The advertisers stated that at the time the email advertisement was first pushed out, there were in excess of 10% of seats available at the offer price.
Complaint Not Upheld.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the Code did not require a minimum level of complaint in order for an advertisement to be assessed, investigated and adjudicated upon, and that each case is considered on its own merits.
The Committee noted that when the complainant visited the website, flights at the advertised from price of €39.99 were no longer available.
The Committee also noted that information had been provided, on a confidential basis, showing evidence of seats sold at less than or equal to the advertised price together with details of the percentage of seats sold, and that more than the minimum 10% were available for purchase at the time that the advertising went live. In the circumstances, the Committee did not consider that the advertising was in breach of the Code.
No further action required.