ASA welcomes Groupon's undertakings
16 March 2012The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) welcomes today’s announcement by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) that it has accepted undertakings from MyCityDeal t/a Groupon to change some of its trading practices. It follows an investigation into the ‘daily deals’ company by the OFT which included a referral of complaints about Groupon’s advertising by the ASA.
The ASA referred Groupon to the OFT in December 2011 following repeated breaches of the Advertising Code. Specifically, we were concerned about Groupon’s:
• Failure to conduct promotions fairly, such as not making clear significant terms and conditions
• Failure to provide evidence that offers were available
• Exaggeration of savings claims
The OFT has obtained undertakings from Groupon that it will change its practices to ensure that in the future:
• Reference prices (prices against which a sale price is compared) including savings, are accurate, honest and transparent.
• Groupon carries out an accurate, honest and realistic assessment of a merchant’s ability to provide goods or services in the quantity or time frame suggested.
• Products display clearly, prominently and on the same screen or before purchase all the limitations which apply to any deal.
• Groupon takes reasonable steps to ensure that health or beauty product claims are supported by adequate substantiation.
• Terms and conditions are fair.
• Groupon applies refunds policies and cancellation rights in accordance with the Distance Selling Regulations.
The OFT will now monitor Groupon over the next three months to ensure it implements the changes. During this period the ASA will continue to refer to the OFT complaints it receives about Groupon that relate to matters subject to the undertakings. We will assess and, where necessary, investigate any complaints about other aspects of Groupon’s marketing.