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ASA Upholds Victoria Plum's Complaints Against Better Bathrooms

Better Bathrooms - Romford 725 x 500.jpg

Complaints by Victoria Plum over banner adverts on the Better Bathrooms website have been investigated and upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The adverts in question were seen on the Better Bathrooms website in April 2018, and included:

a) A banner which included the text “APRIL SHOWERS UP TO 70% OFF* FINAL WEEK … + AN EXTRA 20% OFF** SELECTED CABINS AND ENCLOSURES … enter code CAB20 at checkout”.

b) A banner which included the text “APRIL SHOWERS UP TO 70% OFF* NOW ON … + AN EXTRA 20% OFF** SELECTED WALK-INS AND FURNITURE ... enter code APRIL20 at checkout”.

c) A banner which included the text “APRIL SHOWERS UP TO 70% OFF* NOW ON … + AN EXTRA 20% OFF** SHOWERS ... with code SHOWERS20 at checkout”.

d) A banner which included the text “APRIL SHOWERS UP TO 70% OFF* NOW ON … + AN EXTRA 20% OFF** QUADRANTS ... with code QUADS20 at checkout”.

Victoria Plum challenged whether:

1) The “April Showers” promotion in ads (a) and (b) was misleading as they understood that none of the “selected” products were available with an extra 20% off, and;

2) The “April Showers” promotion in ads (c) and (d) were misleading as they understood none of the products in the stated categories were available with an extra 20% off.

Better Bathrooms stated that in three out of four product categories the number of products that were on offer with the additional 20% off outweighed the number of products that were not. They said that for one of the product categories a significant proportion of products were available at 20% off.

They provided two spreadsheets to the ASA which showed the products included in the April Showers promotion and the products included in the “20% off” promotion. They also provided a table with a breakdown of each product category in ads (a), (b), (c) and (d) which summarised the number of items on sale at “up to 70% off” and the number of items with 20% off.

They said that there were only a few products that did not have an additional 20% discount. They clarified that, with regards to ads (a) and (b), the banners stated that the additional offer was on “selected” products which they considered gave consumers an understanding of the offers available and ensured that they did not imply that the additional discount was on all items.

Assessment

Both complaints were upheld, with the ASA stating that consumers would understand the claims to mean that a significant proportion of their products would be available with a 70% discount across the selected categories and a further 20% discount would apply to selected items that were already discounted.

The company provided a table which set out the number of discounted items in the cabins and enclosures ranges referenced in ad (a) and the walk-ins and furniture ranges referenced in ad (b) and set out the number of items which qualified for 20% off – however, these were marked as “non-sale items” by the advertiser.

Better Bathrooms did not provide the pre-sale prices of each item as well as the amount that those items were discounted by and the complainants was unable to purchase items in the sale with the additional 20% off discount when using the discount codes stated in the ad.

In the absence of any further clarification by Better Bathrooms, the ASA considered that the information provided by the advertiser had not substantiated whether the selected items were included in the “up to 70% off” promotion were discounted by an additional 20% off and the adverts were considered misleading.

Action

The ASA told Better Bathrooms (UK) Ltd that when making “up to [X]% off” claims they should ensure that a significant proportion of sale items were discounted by the stated percentage and when offering an additional discount it was clear whether that applied to items within an ongoing promotion, and that such claims represented the true overall picture of the sale.

Source : Insight DIY Team and ASA

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03 January 2019

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