ASA Adjudication on Homestyle Operations Ltd
Homestyle Operations Ltd t/a
9 May 2012
Number of complaints:
Hurrell Moseley Dawson and Grimmer
A TV ad for Harvey's furniture store, seen on 2 January 2012, stated "The Harvey's 8 day sale. Ends Monday". On-screen text read "UP TO HALF PRICE 8 DAY SALE ENDS MONDAY 8PM".
One viewer, who saw the ad on the day the sale ended, challenged whether it was misleading, because the next day the sale was extended and an additional 10% discount was applied.
Homestyle Operations Ltd trading as Harveys (Harveys) said the 8 Day Sale which finished on 2 January 2012 included products promoted at a higher discount than the rest of the Winter Sale period. They said the 8 Day Sale did end on the Monday (2 January 2012), as stated in the ad, and was not extended. The promotion that started on 3 January 2012 was not an extension of the 8 Day Sale but the start of a new promotion, which offered an additional ‘up to 10% off the Half Price sale’ on selected products.
Clearcast said Harveys' comments accorded with the substantiation they submitted at the time the ad was cleared and noted that, after the sale period ended, they were advertising a different offer. They added that retailers were aware of the relevant guidance on extending sales.
The ASA noted that the promotion in the ad the complainant had seen on Monday 2 January 2012 offered "up to half price" off Harveys' products. We considered that the ad made clear that the "SALE ENDS MONDAY 8PM"; namely on Monday 2 January 2012. We understood, however, that on the following day, 3 January 2012, the advertisers maintained that they had initiated another promotion which offered an 'up to half price' sale plus an extra 10% off on selected products. We noted that that promotion therefore offered a greater saving to the consumer.
We considered that consumers would understand from the claim "SALE ENDS MONDAY 8PM" that the promotional prices available during the promotion period would not be available after the end of the sale at 8pm on Monday 2 January 2012, and would infer that prices would subsequently increase. We noted, for example, that the complainant had purchased a kitchen table on the final day of the sale, because he had understood that the sale price would no longer be available the next day.
Because we considered that consumers would understand from the claim "SALE ENDS MONDAY 8PM" that promotional prices would not be available after that deadline, but because we noted that the advertisers continued to offer promotional prices after the end of the advertised sale, in which the price on selected products decreased further, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached BCAP Code (Edition 12) rule 3.31 (Availability).
The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.