ASA Adjudication on MyCityDeal Ltd
MyCityDeal Ltd t/a
1 Liverpool Street
7 December 2011
Internet (sales promotion)
Number of complaints:
An ad on a discount website, viewed on 31st August, 2011, was headed "Six Sessions of IBE Breast Enhancement for £99 at Beautopia Spa (£1200 value)". Further text stated "Highlights, Microbeam energy technology, Designed to lift or enhance breasts, Discretion and confidentiality assured". Text headed "Fine Print" included "Typical growth between a 1/4 and 2 cup sizes within 5-8 weeks. Individual results may vary. 2-4 weeks between appointments".
The complainant challenged whether the claim "Typical growth between a 1/4 and 2 cup sizes within 5-8 weeks" was misleading and could be substantiated, as when she attended the spa she was told it would take a greater number of treatments to achieve more than ¼ cup size increase.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
MyCityDeal Ltd t/a Groupon UK (Groupon) said that the figures given for typical growth were based on previous results attained by the spa. Groupon said that they believed the promotion made clear that results would vary depending on the client by using the word "typical" and stating that "individual results may vary". They provided patient data obtained from the spa saying it showed the results of IBE Breast Enhancement on six patients. These recorded a range in growth of between one-quarter and one cup size after between five and six treatments, and were signed by the patient and a spa employee.
The ASA considered that consumers would expect the claim that IBE Breast Enhancement was capable of achieving breast growth, and that customers would achieve typical growth of between one quarter and 2 cup sizes in 5–6 weeks to be backed by robust scientific evidence, and that the use of the word "typical" would be interpreted to mean that the majority of women would achieve this result. We noted that the ad included a disclaimer that individual results may vary, and that Groupon said they had based the claim on previous results attained by the spa. However, we considered that patient data for six patients, provided by the spa carrying out the treatments, was not sufficient evidence to substantiate the claim that the treatment was capable of achieving breast growth. As a result we concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Codes (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.11 (Exaggeration) and 12.1 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).
The promotion must not appear again in its current form.