ASA Adjudication on Toni and Guy (Lakeside) Ltd
Toni and Guy (Lakeside) Ltd
Level 1 Lakeside Shopping Centre
West Thurrock Way
11 July 2012
Internet (social networking)
Number of complaints:
Two tweets posted from Gemma Collins' Twitter account stated "In @Toniandguylside having such a wonderful time defo got my hair back to good condition 10% off call today and quote #gemma x" and "10% off @Toniandguylside I have the most amazeballs hair colour and condition best salon ever call and say #gemma for discount xx".
The complainant challenged whether the tweets were marketing communications, and should therefore be identified as such.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Toni and Guy (Lakeside) Ltd (T&G) said that Gemma Collins had visited the salon for an appointment and that they had decided to waive the cost of their services. They said she had been pleased with the service provided and it was therefore suggested that she tweet about it. They said Gemma had asked whether she should mention a discount and it was agreed that a discount should be offered. They said the tweets had been compiled by Gemma on the spur of the moment and that they were not part of any formal advertising campaign. They believed that, whilst the tweets did not include the terms "marketing", "sponsored" or "advertisement", the mention of a 10% discount made it clear that the tweets were marketing communications.
The ASA considered the average Twitter user would follow a number of people on the site and they would receive a number of tweets throughout the day, which they might scroll through quickly. We noted the Code did not just require ads to be identifiable as marketing communications but that they must be obviously identifiable as such.
The tweets appeared to have been written on a spontaneous visit to the salon and users could have interpreted them as referring to a pre-existing 10% off sales promotion, which Gemma Collins had herself taken advantage of on her visit. The tweets did encourage users to quote “#gemma” but, in the context of the whole tweets, users could have overlooked the significance of that or not understood that it related directly to Miss Collins. In the absence of an identifier such as “#ad”, we considered the tweets were not obviously identifiable as Toni and Guy marketing communications and therefore concluded they breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 2.1, 2.3 and 2.4 (Recognition of marketing communications).
The ads must no longer appear. We told Toni & Guy to ensure that its advertising was obviously identifiable as such.