ASA Adjudication on Dell Corporation Ltd
Dell Corporation Ltd
25 March 2009
Computers and telecommunications
Number of complaints:
A TV ad, for Dell computers, showed several laptops in various colours. A web address was shown and on-screen text stated "Offer available until 21.12.2008. Includes VAT & delivery"; "THE COLOURFUL INSPIRON 1525 FROM £369". The voice-over stated "Choose the Dell Inspiron 1525 that fits your style for just £369 including a free choice of colour … ".
Two viewers complained that the ad was misleading because, having visited the website, they found there was a charge for any colour other than black.
BCAP TV Code
Dell sent details of sales for the laptop and said some customers had purchased the bundle at the advertised price, albeit slightly reduced due to the decrease in VAT. They said some were sold at prices higher than that advertised because customers had opted to add upgrades to their bundle. They also sent a sample of invoices, which showed that customers who had purchased the laptop at the advertised price had obtained a colour upgrade at no extra cost. They said the offer was available using the phone number or web address shown in the ad, or through an as seen on TV link on their main website; if consumers had searched their main website for the same or similar products without using those routes however they might not have been directed to the specific bundle shown in the ad.
Clearcast said they had received confirmation from Dell that the offer was correct for the dates shown in the ad; they had approved it on that basis. They sent that confirmation and said, in addition to the routes shown in the ad, the As seen on TV link appeared on the main website for the duration of the offer. They were satisfied that the ad was not misleading.
The ASA noted the price differed depending on a customers requirements. We also noted customers might not be directed to the advertised bundle if they searched Dells main website but they could locate the offer using the routes stated in the ad as well as via an additional link on the main site. We considered the invoices demonstrated that the laptop was available with a free colour upgrade at the price advertised. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to mislead.
We investigated the ad under CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Standards Code rules 5.1.1, 5.1.3 and 5.1.4 (Misleading advertising), 5.2.11 (Use of the word 'free') and 5.3.4 (Availability of products advertised at a specified price) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Broadcast)