Background

Misleading Advertising: Central Reservations breaks the UK advertising rules for misleadingly implying on the thekingshotelbrighton.co.uk and hotelhatfield.co.uk websites that they own the hotels, when they are in fact an unrelated third party.

In 2016 the ASA investigated the thekingshotelbrighton.co.uk website, which stated “Welcome to The Kings Hotel Brighton!” and featured an online enquiry form and text stating "Should you wish to contact The Kings Hotel Brighton, you can do so by completing the form below ... We look forward to hearing from you!” The website allowed consumers to book rooms online. The complainant challenged whether the website misleadingly implied that it was the hotel's own website, rather than a third party's website.

In the absence of a response, the ASA noted the presentation of the website, including the “thekingshotelbrighton” URL, gave the impression to consumers that the website was owned by the hotel itself, rather than a third party. The ASA concluded that the website was misleading.

After applying sanctions against the thekingshotelbrighton.co.uk website, the CAP Compliance team became aware the hotelhatfield.co.uk website, also owned by Central Reservations, used a similar template and did not make clear that it was not the hotel’s own website. We contacted Central Reservations to seek compliance with the ruling but, in the absence of a response, took the decision on 24 August 2017 to place their company details on this section of the ASA website. These details shall remain in place until such time as Central Reservations has removed or appropriately amended the claims on the thekingshotelbrighton.co.uk and hotelhatfield.co.uk websites to ensure compliance with the CAP Code.

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