ASA Adjudication on MyCityDeal Ltd
MyCityDeal Ltd t/a
1 Liverpool Street
11 May 2011
Number of complaints:
Two internet banner ads.
a. One ad stated " ALL YOU CAN EAT in London £3" and invited consumers to click on the ad.
b. The second ad stated "XXL - Bouquet of Flowers in London" and showed a bouquet of roses with a price tag which stated "from £8" and invited consumers to click on the ad.
A member of the public and Arena Flowers challenged whether the offers in ad (a) and (b) respectively were genuine because when they clicked on the ads and subscribed to the Groupon scheme, they were unable to find any such offers.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Groupon explained that their banner ads were created and controlled by the German branch of Groupon. They added that until the ASA notified them of the complaints, they had not had any involvement in the creation and execution of online banner ad campaigns.
Groupon said they recognised they needed to approve banner ads such as those complained about to ensure that the content was relevant. They said that where online banner ads did not contain any claims or offers, their German based team would however retain responsibility. Groupon said that the ads had been withdrawn.
The ASA noted that responsibility for the ads complained about rested with the German branch of Groupon. We welcomed Groupons decision to withdraw the ads and to ensure that they approved all future UK targeted banner ads featuring a sales promotion.
We noted that the ads claimed that consumers could buy a bouquet of flowers for £8 and that they could take advantage of an "all you can eat in London for £3" offer. We considered that consumers would understand those offers to be genuine and available to subscribers of the Groupon scheme. We noted that Groupon did not provide evidence that the offers were available or that they had been taken up by consumers. Because we had not seen any such evidence, we concluded that the ads were misleading.
Ad (a) and ad (b) breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 8.2 (Sales promotions).
The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Groupon not to advertise sales promotions if they could not demonstrate they were genuine.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)