ASA Adjudication on David Hall Publishing Ltd
David Hall Publishing Ltd t/a
2 Stephenson Close
9 November 2011
E-mail, Internet (on own site)
Number of complaints:
Two e-mail promotions and two website promotions for fishing magazines, Advance Carp Fishing and Total Carp, seen in July 2011.
The first e-mail promotion, for Total Carp, stated "SUBSCRIBE AND RECEIVE A FREE DYNAMITE BAITS PACK WORTH OVER £40!". The "Subscriptions" page on the Total Carp website stated "Exclusive New TC Subscription Offer. Subscribe to Total Carp and receive a Free Dynamite Baits Pack worth over £40 absolutley [sic] FREE! 12 ISSUES OF TOTAL CARP PLUS A DYNAMITE BAITS PACK AND AN 'ON THE BANK' WITH DEREK RICHIE DVD FOR JUST £53.20... FREE GIFT! Terry Hearn's BANANA NUT CRUNCH". A link at the bottom of the page stated "Click here to the [sic] Subscribe online". This linked to a page with text stating "Subscription Option: Please select your subscription choice... Alternative Subscription Offers - No Gift. UK and Eire 12 issues plus discount at £39.36... Gift Option:.. 12 issues + Banana Nut Crunch + DVD 009 £53.20".
The second e-mail promotion, for Advanced Carp Fishing, stated "FREE DYNAMITE BAITS PACK WORTH OVER £40 ... ...WHEN YOU SUBSCRIBE". The "Subscriptions" page on the Advanced Carp Fishing website stated "Exclusive New ACF Subscription Offer. Subscribe to Advanced Carp Fishing and receive a Dynamite Baits Pack worth over £40 absolutley [sic] FREE! 12 issues of Advanced Carp Fishing plus a Dynamite Baits Pack and an 'On the Bank" with Derek Richie DVD (worth £9.99) for just £53.20 ... FREE GIFT! Rod Hutchinson's PEACH & MANGO WITH MAPLECREAM". A link at the bottom of the page stated "Click here to the [sic] Subscribe online". This linked to a page with text stating "Subscription Option: Please select your subscription choice ... Alternative Subscription Offers - No Gift. UK and Eire 12 issues plus discount at £39.36 ... Gift Option: ... 12 issues + Peach and Mango Bait + DVD 009 £53.20".
The complainant challenged whether the claims that the DVD and bait were free were misleading, because they understood that a subscription without those items was available for a lower price.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
David Hall Publishing did not comment on the complaint but explained that their websites were being updated and said they would ensure that their changes complied with the CAP Code.
The ASA noted that the price of the 12-month magazine subscription without the bait and DVD was £39.36 and that this option was described as discounted. The price of the same subscription with the bait and DVD was £53.20 and the bait and DVD were described as "free" and "gifts". We considered that because the 12-month subscription could be obtained for a lower price without the DVD and bait, these additional elements of the package were not free because by including them in the package, the price was increased. We considered that if the DVD and bait had been free then the price of the 12-month subscription would have been the same regardless of whether or not the consumer opted for the additional items, and the "discount" which was applied to the subscription only would have also been applied to the package which included them.
We therefore concluded that the claims that the DVD and bait were free were misleading and in breach of the Code.
The claims breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.24.2 and 3.25 (Free).
We told David Hall Publishing to remove the claims that the DVD and bait were free from the ads.