ASA Non-broadcast Adjudication: Strike Lucky Games Ltd
Strike Lucky Games Ltd
20 Station Street
7 May 2003
Objection to a scratchcard headed, "WIN £50,000", that claimed "... If you have 3 of the same symbols, then you''re guaranteed one of the above rewards ...". The rewards listed were £10,000 Cash, £2,000 Laptop, £1,500 Hi-Fi System, £1,000 Travel Vouchers, £800 Home Cinema System, £750 Widescreen TV, £650 Sony Camcorder and £250 Argos Voucher. The reverse of the scratchcard claimed "... Your reward is guaranteed to have a value at least 30 times the cost of the call ... Calls cost £1.50 per minute. Max time 5 min ...".
1. The Authority challenged whether the description "£1,000 Travel Vouchers" was misleading because the vouchers were discount vouchers redeemable separately and only against holidays from specific brochures.
2. The complainant challenged whether the reward was guaranteed to cost at least 30 times the cost of the call.
CAP Code (Edition 11)
The advertisers said the £1000+ holiday vouchers booklet consisted of six vouchers: a £300 voucher for Honicombe Manor in Cornwall, two £150 vouchers for Airtours, a £100 voucher for Pontins, a £100 voucher for Cosmos holidays and a £250 voucher for P&O Princess Cruises. The advertisers said the claim was accepted by the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS) and they had used it since March 2002 and sent confirmation of that. They believed that all UK scratchcard promoters used the same or similar claims and had done so for over three years; they said they were unaware of complaints from their customers about the claim. The advertisers said the rules at the bottom of one side of the scratchcard stated "£1000 Travel Vouchers are separately redeemable against the brochures of Airtours & other selected companies", which they believed made clear that there were a number of vouchers that added up to the value £1000 and were separately redeemable with holidays from various brochures. The advertisers said they had previously used the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Copy Advice team to check that their scratchcards complied with The Code.
The Authority noted the advertisers had previously taken copy advice from CAP on other scratchcards. The Authority considered that the claim and the qualifying statement in the rules were ambiguous and did not make clear enough to recipients that there were six individual vouchers that offered varying amounts of money off the cost of holidays and which were redeemable only through specific tour operators and brochures. Because recipients of the vouchers had to book six holidays to get the full value of the vouchers, the Authority considered that it was unlikely that any recipient of the booklet would be able to get the full value of the vouchers. Because of that the Authority considered the description exaggerated the worth of the vouchers and told the advertisers to make clear in future scratchcards the value of the individual vouchers, if the individual vouchers were restricted to particular tour operators and brochures and any other restrictions that might influence a recipient''s decision to participate.
2. Complaint upheld
The advertisers said the maximum cost of the call was £7.50 and the £1,000 holiday vouchers were more than 30 times the cost of the call. The advertisers said the claim was agreed with the CAP Copy Advice team in 2000 and ICSTIS in 2002. They believed that all UK scratchcard promoters used the same or similar wordings and had done so for over three years and were unaware of complaints from their customers about this issue. The advertisers pointed out that respondents could obtain the vouchers without making a telephone call because immediately under the claim they referred to the postal entry route and overleaf was a box entitled "How to claim" that stated "... You may call the number over leaf to find out what you have won ..." or "... complete the name & address section below ... send this card with a self addressed envelope ...". The Authority noted the lowest value prize claimed in the scratchcard was the £250 Argos voucher, the value of which was more than 30 times the cost of the call. It considered, however, that the claim for the "£1,000 Travel Vouchers" was misleading, because the vouchers consisted of six vouchers, four of which had values less than 30 times the cost of the telephone call. The Authority concluded that the claim that guaranteed the reward would have a value at least 30 times the cost of a call was misleading and told the advertisers to change the claim to reflect the lowest value award.