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ASA Adjudication on Imperial Travel Limited

Imperial Travel Limited

1st Floor, Unit 3
12 Richfield Avenue
Reading
Berkshire
RG1 8EQ

Date:

18 April 2012

Media:

Internet (e-tailing)

Sector:

Holidays and travel

Number of complaints:

1

Complaint Ref:

A11-173926

Ad

An ad for an Imperial Travel Ltd holiday in Fuerteventura, on teletextholidays.co.uk, viewed 7 October 2011, stated "7nts All Inclusive, £283pp Dep: 29th Oct 2011, Gatwick".

Issue

The complainant, who had been unable to book the holiday at the advertised price, challenged whether the claim "7nts All Inclusive, £283pp" was misleading.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

Response

Imperial Travel Ltd (Imperial Travel) said they did not hold information in relation to the complainants' enquiry about the holiday, or about the holiday itself. They said their offers on Teletext were live and so should have been available. They said that sometimes customers asked for changes to the offered holiday, for example because the flights were indirect or at inconvenient times, and that could affect the price.

Teletext said all advertisers on their website were responsible for the content they loaded, and were required to refresh content at least every two hours, or as soon as they were aware that a holiday was no longer available, because prices could fluctuate by the minute. They said that regular updating meant prices were kept current, generally stable whilst displayed, and available as seen.

Teletext said that Imperial Travel loaded their holidays directly, and because they were not involved at any stage of Imperial Travel's loading or booking processes, they did not know whether the offer was available at the advertised price when the complainant enquired about the holiday. Teletext said they did not believe the ad to have been misleading because it would have been based on the prices available at the time the offer was uploaded to their website. They added that Imperial Travel was no longer permitted to advertise on the Teletext website.

Assessment

Upheld

The ASA understood from the complainant that they had seen the holiday advertised on two consecutive days, had contacted Imperial Travel on both days to purchase the holiday, and had not asked for any changes or amendments to the offer. We understood that on both days the complainant was informed that the holiday was not available at the price advertised on the website.

We understood that prices could fluctuate over a short period of time, and that, although advertisers were required to refresh content on the Teletext website at least every two hours, there could be occasions on which an advertised price was no longer available to consumers. We were therefore concerned that the ad did not make clear that there could be limitations to the availability of the offer. We were also concerned that in this instance the advertised holiday was not available at the advertised price on two consecutive occasions. Furthermore, we noted we had not seen any documentary evidence to demonstrate that the holiday had ever been available at the advertised price. We concluded the advertised price had not been substantiated, and the ad was therefore misleading.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.17 (Prices).

Action

The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Imperial Travel to ensure that they held documentary evidence to substantiate that their holidays were available at the advertised prices.

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