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Product: Travel (Hotel Accommodation)
Advertiser: Bite a Bargain
The advertising on biteabargain.ie offered the following:
“€59 for 1 Night, €99 for 2 Nights or €119 for 3 Nights for Two People including Full Irish Breakfast each morning and Late Checkout at the Kilford Arms Hotel, Kilkenny City (value up to €378)…”
The text of the offer was accompanied by three pictures. The main picture featured was that of a building exterior and under this (side by side) two pictures featured interior shots of a bar/restaurant. The wording “The Kilford Arms Hotel” appeared in large print in the centre of the pictures. To the right of the main picture in a smaller font the wording “Kikenny Castle” appeared.
The complainant said that he was impressed by the images he saw on the website and made a booking with the Kilford Arms Hotel. He said that after he made the booking he used Google Maps to find directions to the hotel and it was only then that he discovered that the pictures used in the advertising were that of Kilkenny Castle. The Kilford Arms Hotel he said was a pub style building. He considered that Bite a Bargain had arranged the pictures in such a manner to make the viewer believe that the pictures they were viewing were that of the Kilford Arms Hotel.
The advertisers forwarded a copy of the advertising to the Authority and said that while the main image used was that of Kilkenny Castle that it had been clearly marked as such to the right hand corner of the image. Additionally they said they had referenced the fact at the bottom of the deal description that ‘Image shown is Kilkenny Castle / Bar photos are Kilford Arms Hotel.’ They therefore considered that their advertising was not in breach of the Code.”
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They compared the advertising from the time the complainant made his complaint to that provided by the advertisers. They noted that the reference to ‘Kilkenny Castle’ in the original advertising was in very small font which could be easily overlooked and that the reference in the copy forwarded by the advertisers was in a larger, more prominent, font size. They also noted that the reference to the fact that the ‘Image shown is Kilkenny Castle / Bar photos are Kilford Arms Hotel’ was not in the advertising at the time the complainant made his complaint. In the circumstances the Complaints Committee considered that the original advertising had breached sections 2.22 and 2.24 of the Code.
The Committee noted that as the advertising had been amended no further action was required. They reminded the advertisers, however, that they should ensure that if pictures are used in advertisements of this nature that there is no likelihood that consumers will be misled in relation to the style, size, character or location of the property involved.