ASA Adjudication on Associated Newspapers Ltd
Associated Newspapers Ltd t/a
2 Derry Street
21 July 2010
Number of complaints:
A sales promotion in the Daily Mail stated “TAKE AFTERNOON TEA FOR TWO THE DAILY MAIL is offering every reader the chance to enjoy a luxurious afternoon tea for two at some of the UK’s leading hotels and restaurants - from just £5 … Simply collect three tokens and browse our afternoon tea website to find your chosen hotel or restaurant … To take part, follow the booking details online at [website address] and take three afternoon tea tokens and a downloaded voucher from the website with you when you visit, or cut out the voucher printed on the right … The tokens (the first of which is here) will be printed in the Daily Mail until the end of May. All offers will be valid until the end of May 2010 …”
The complainant objected that the promotion was misleading, because vouchers were not printed throughout May and he was unable to find tokens in the newspaper.
CAP Code (Edition 11)
Associated Newspapers (AN) said they printed vouchers in the Daily Mail throughout May, but the vouchers stopped appearing in The Mail on Sunday in the second week of May. They were unable to confirm for how many days during May the vouchers appeared. They explained that, because readers only needed to collect three tokens, once they had printed about 20 tokens they sometimes stopped printing them for a day or two to allow space for other promotions. AN said they always told readers that for all offers the Daily Mail masthead could be used instead of a printed voucher for proof of purchase. They said that information appeared on the website and that any reader wishing to take part in the promotion would need to visit the website to look for specific exclusions, so they were likely to be aware of that fact.
The ASA noted that the ad stated "To take part, follow the booking details ... and take three afternoon tea tokens and a downloaded voucher from the website with you when you visit, or cut out the voucher printed on the right ...The tokens (the first of which is here) will be printed in the Daily Mail until the end of May", which we considered gave readers the impression that vouchers would be printed every day in May. We understood that the website for the promotion stated "We are printing tokens every day in the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday from Saturday March 27 2010. You will need to collect three differently dated tokens from those we are printing" and noted that neither the ad nor the website indicated that the newspaper masthead could be used as an alternative to a printed voucher. Because the ad implied that tokens would be printed in the newspaper every day, which was not the case, and did not make clear that there were alternatives to printed vouchers, we concluded that the promotion was likely to mislead.
The ad breached CAP Code clauses 7.1, 7.2 (Truthfulness), 27.4 and 34.1(a) (Sales promotion rules).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told AN to ensure that future ads included all significant conditions.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)