ASA Ruling on Homes Direct 365 Ltd
Homes Direct 365 Ltd
Unit G4, Commerce Way
Skippers Lane Industrial Estate
28 January 2015
Internet (on own site)
Number of complaints:
The website www.homesdirect365.co.uk promoted furniture. The site included a number of products with the claim "Antique French" in their name, such as "La Rochelle Antique French Bed".
The complainant, who understood that the products described as "Antique French" were new and had not been manufactured in France, challenged whether the claim was misleading.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Homes Direct 365 Ltd said their terms and conditions stated that the items were antique reproductions and copied from French antique designs. They said a number of other companies used similar phrasing when describing their products.
The ASA noted Home Direct’s assertion that information regarding the fact the products were neither antique nor manufactured in France appeared in the site's terms and conditions. We considered, however, that that was material information that could influence a consumer's decision as to whether or not to purchase the items, and so should have appeared in a more prominent position. We noted that each individual product page included text such as "... completed in a stunning antique white finish to give that Shabby Chic look" and "As one of our most popular ranges the La Rochelle collection ...", and considered that once they had navigated to those pages, consumers would, in all likelihood, understand that the goods were new, not antique, and presume that they were French-style, as opposed to manufactured in France. Nonetheless, we considered that prior to viewing the individual product pages, consumers could mistakenly believe that the products were manufactured in France and that they were antiques. Because it was not made immediately clear that the products were "French Antique" style, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.9 (Qualification).
The claims must not appear again in its current form. We told Homes Direct 365 Ltd to ensure they made sufficiently clear that their products were in the French antique style rather than antiques that had been made in France.