ASA Adjudication on Morgan Import 1964 Ltd
Morgan Import 1964 Ltd t/a
Morgan Import 1964 Ltd
Commonwealth of Dominic
25 October 2006
Number of complaints:
A scratchcard featured three promotions:
a. The first promotion stated "Scratch away a Fortune Match 3 amounts and win a prize of that value £50,000 cash - £5,000 cash - £5,000 cash - £10,000 cash - £5,000 cash - £500 cash - £200 cash - £150 cash - £50 cash plus lots more great prizes see overleaf for full prize listing ... CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE WON - PHONE TO CLAIM".
b. The second promotion stated "FRUIT MACHINE MATCH 3 SYMBOLS & YOU ARE GUARANTEED TO WIN A LISTED PRIZE. THEN CALL TO CLAIM".
c. The third promotion stated "CASH MATCH WIN UP TO £1,000 EVERY DAY".
Text on the reverse of the scratchcard stated, "Rules, terms and conditions (main points): ... this is a competition containing an element of skill ... We reserve the right to add, remove, change or edit any of the rules, terms or conditions at any time, and without notice, and/or terminate all or part of this competition at any time, and without notice." Further text at the bottom of the scratchcard stated " ... This is a subscriptions service."
In relation to promotions (a) and (b), Cornwall Trading Standards:
1. objected that the claims suggesting that prizes were guaranteed were misleading, because the promotions were marketed as competitions involving tie-breaker questions that might potentially be answered incorrectly;
2. challenged whether the terms and conditions, by allowing the promoters to terminate the promotions or change the rules at any time, could lead to unnecessary disappointment and did not deal fairly and honourably with consumers and
3. objected that the promoters did not explain the conditions attached to the £1000 vouchers.
4. In relation to promotion (c), Cornwall Trading Standards challenged whether the largest cash prize of £1000 was ever awarded, as implied by the text "EVERY DAY".
5. In relation to promotion (c), the ASA challenged whether the card made sufficiently clear that the CASH MATCH game was a subscription service.
CAP Code (Edition 11)
Scratch Games did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by Scratch Games' lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code clause 2.6 (Non-response). We reminded them of their obligations under the Code and told them to respond promptly in future.
Because Scratch Games did not provide us with evidence to the contrary, we considered that the claims suggesting prizes were guaranteed were misleading. Further, we were concerned that Scratch Games did not explain the conditions attached to the £1000 vouchers or prove that the £1000 sum was ever awarded and were therefore not satisfied that the terms and conditions dealt fairly and honourably with consumers. We were also concerned that the scratch card did not make clear enough that the CASH MATCH game was a subscription service. We concluded the scratchcard was likely to mislead recipients.
On points 1-5, the scratchcard breached CAP Code clauses 2.6 (Non-response), 3.1 (Substantiation), 6.1 (Honesty), 7.1 (Truthfulness), 27.4 (Sales promotion rules), 34.1a, 34.1d (Significant conditions), 35.1, 35.2, 35.7, 35.8 and 35.9 (Prize promotions).
We asked CAP to inform its media members of the problem with Scratch Games.