ASA Adjudication on gumtree.com Ltd
13 June 2012
Internet (sales promotion)
Number of complaints:
Claims on a "Daily Deal" promotion for eye drops, on gumtreedeals.com, stated "£7 for Eye Brightening Collyre Bleu Eye Drops from JD Harris (was £24.99*)". The footnote stated "*Vendor's normal price".
The complainant challenged whether the claim "was £24.99" exaggerated the saving, because they understood that that was not the price at which the product was generally sold.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Gumtree said they believed the deal was fully compliant with the Code, because the normal retail price stated in the ad was correct. They submitted a screenshot from the JD Harris website, which stated the RRP of the eye drops was £24.99 and that they were currently selling the product for £19.95. They provided a screenshot of the manufacturer's website, which stated the product was $39.95 but was being sold for $35. They also submitted a screenshot showing the product for sale on eBay for £31.02 and upwards, which they said were above the RRP, and therefore demonstrated that was at least the price at which the product was generally sold. Gumtree said they had asked JD Harris to supply evidence relating to the recommended retail price of £24.99 for the eye drops but that they were unable to provide any.
The ASA noted the ad stated that the "vendor's normal price" of the eye drops was £24.99, and considered consumers would therefore expect that the product was generally sold at that price. We noted the JD Harris' website sold the product for £19.95. In the absence of any evidence that demonstrated that Eye Brightening Collyre Bleu Eye Drops were generally sold at £24.99, we considered the claim had not been substantiated and concluded that it was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.11 (Exaggeration), 3.17 (Prices) and 3.40 (Price comparisons).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Gumtree to ensure statements of value were an accurate representation of the price at which the product was generally sold and that they held evidence to substantiate future claims.