ASA Ruling on Gerrards Auction Rooms
Gerrards Auction Rooms
St Georges Road
18 July 2012
Number of complaints:
Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated both of which were Upheld.
A regional press ad, for Gerrards Auction Rooms, stated "INSTANT CASH PRICES PAID FOR ALL GOLD & SILVER Current Scrap prices for 9ct Gold £12 per gramme (Information from [website address]) Sovereigns £230 - Kruggerands £1,000 ... OUR AUCTIONEER WILL BE AVAILABLE TO VALUE YOUR JEWELLERY, GOLD & SILVER, CLOCKS, COLLECTABLES, BRONZES, MILITARIA, COINS ETC". Further text stated "AS SEEN ON ITV Dickinson's REAL DEAL ... AS SEEN ON BBC Antiques ROAD TRIP".
Thaddeus Jewellers challenged whether:
1. the ad misleadingly implied the price paid by Gerrards for 9ct gold was £12 per gram, and;
2. the claims ""AS SEEN ON ITV Dickinson's REAL DEAL" and "AS SEEN ON BBC Antiques ROAD TRIP" misleadingly implied that Gerrards had been involved in those programmes as a gold, silver and other jewellery purchaser.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
1. Gerrards Auction Rooms (Gerrards) acknowledged the complaint over the telephone and said they had made a statement about the market rate of gold in the ad in order to inform customers. They said they paid a set amount for each item and did not offer an amount per gram of metal. They accepted the claim could mislead some customers and agreed to remove the claim "Current Scrap prices for 9ct Gold £12 per gramme" from future advertising.
2. Gerrards said they had appeared on Dickinson's Real Deal and Antiques Road Trip, both as an auctioneer and a jewellery valuer. They provided the ASA with three press articles that reported Dickinson's Real Deal was to be filmed at Gerrards Auction Rooms.
The ASA considered consumers would understand the claim "Current Scrap prices for 9ct Gold £12 per gramme" to mean that Gerrards would buy nine carat gold from customers at the price of £12 per gram. We understood Gerrards paid a set amount per item and did not purchase metal at a price per gram. Whilst we noted the claim was followed by text that stated "(Information from [website address])", we considered that did not make clear that the quoted price was the current market rate only and was not the price at which Gerrards would buy gold. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.
On this point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.11 (Exaggeration).
We considered consumers would interpret the ad to mean that Gerrards had appeared on Dickinson's Real Deal and Antiques Road Trip. We considered that, rather than implying they had featured in both programmes as a jewellery valuer, the ad implied Gerrards had merely appeared in both programmes. We noted they provided us with press articles that stated Gerrards would be used as the venue for filming Dickinson's Real Deal. However, we considered that information taken from editorial articles before the show did not constitute adequate evidence that supported the claims. We noted Gerrards said they appeared on both programmes; however, because we had seen no evidence of that, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
On this point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.11 (Exaggeration).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Gerrards not to imply they paid the market rate for metals if that was not the case and also told them not to repeat the claims, or similar claims, unless adequate evidence could be provided to support them.