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ASA says B&Q did not mislead with ‘15% off everything’ email campaign

After investigating a complaint from Home Retail Group over a B&Q promotional email, the ASA has confirmed that it did not breach regulations. The details of the complaint and the response from the ASA follow:

An e-mail ad for B&Q, received on 10 June 2011, stated "Spring into summer with our 15% OFF EVERYTHING* voucher". The asterisk was linked to small print at the foot of the e-mail which stated "15% off discount valid from 10th - 13th June 2011 inclusive ... Voucher excludes deliveries, installations and gift card purchases".

Home Retail Group challenged whether the claim "15% OFF EVERYTHING" was misleading, because exclusions applied.

CAP Code (Edition 12) -

B&Q said they noted that the CAP Code stated that ads "... must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims they qualify". They said there were roughly 40,000 different product lines for sale in B&Q stores and that all were included in the "15% OFF EVERYTHING" offer. They said installations, deliveries and gift cards were excluded from the offer. They believed that, given the large number of products included in the offer and that there were three exclusions only, the ad was not misleading. They said they had received no complaints from customers that the offer was misleading.

Not upheld

The ASA noted that the "15% OFF EVERYTHING" offer was linked by an asterisk to small print at the foot of the e-mail which stated that deliveries, installations and gift card purchases were excluded. Although these were, therefore, exclusions, we noted that all products were included in the offer. We considered recipients were likely to consider that deliveries, installations and gift card purchases were not products in that sense; that they therefore might not be included in the offer and that, consequently, the small print clarified but did not contradict the offer. Because of that, we concluded that the claim was not misleading.

We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.9 (Qualification) and 8.2 (Sales promotions) but did not find it in breach.

No further action necessary.

Source : ASA

29 February 2012
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