ASA Adjudication on HiFi-Tower Limited & Co. KG
HiFi-Tower Limited & Co. KG
Waterham Business & Storage Park
18 April 2012
Number of complaints:
An eBay ad, viewed on 2 November 2011, advertised a lamp. Text stated "VISOR LOUPE HEAD MAGNIFIER LED LAMP HEADBAND LIGHT NEW ... Item location: UK, United Kingdom".
A complainant challenged whether the ad was misleading, because he understood that the product was located in Germany and not the UK.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
HiFi-Tower Ltd & Co. KG (HiFi-Tower) said their stock was split over multiple warehouses in the UK and Germany. They said that, for the product complained about, their system allocated stock according to availability so they could not confirm exactly which warehouse the product would have been sent from. They said the difference in locations only meant about a two hour difference in shipment, and if a product was shipped with a European power cord it was also sent with a UK adapter, and that information was included in the product listing.
The ASA acknowledged Hi-Fi Tower's statement that stock was held in warehouses in both the UK and Germany. However, we considered we had not received sufficient evidence to show Hi-Fi Tower did ship stock from the UK.
We also noted that Hi-Fi Tower had put a statement on a different third-party online retailer that stated "To keep costs to a minimum and ensure we can pass on big savings to our customers all our stock is held at, and shipped from, our central distribution centre in Lohne, Germany ... All our returns are managed by our warehouse in Kent. This ensures that should an item need to be returned we have a convenient location in the UK to send it, saving the cost and inconvenience of returning orders to Germany".
Because the ad stated that the product was located in the UK, when we had not seen evidence that Hi-Fi Tower held stock in the UK, we concluded the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Hi-Fi Tower not to state their products were located in the UK unless they held evidence that they were.