Background

Misleading Advertising:  Whinrigg Caravan Storage is in breach of the UK Advertising Standards Code for implying that they are currently a member of the Caravan Storage Site Owners Association (CASSOA). 

The ASA investigated the website www.whinriggcaravanstorage.co.uk in relation to the claim “We take pride in our site, which was awarded gold status by CASSOA in 2005. The site, which is well above CASSOA standards, may qualify our customers for discounts from many insurance companies, if they inform them of the security arrangements in place”.

The ASA considered consumers would interpret the claim as a statement that the site still met the organisation’s standards and that the advertiser was still a member of CASSOA. The ASA understood that the site had previously been awarded gold status by CASSOA.  However, the ASA also noted that the advertiser was, at the time of the complaint, no longer a member of the organisation. On that basis, it concluded that the ad was misleading.

The CAP Compliance team contacted Whinrigg Caravan Storage but the advertiser did not provide an assurance to comply with the Code and the ruling.  Because of the continued non-compliance of www.whinriggcaravanstorage.co.uk, we took the decision to place its details on this section of the ASA website on 23 October 2017. These details shall remain in place until such time as Whinrigg Caravan Storage has amended its website to ensure compliance with the CAP Code.

Summary of ASA ruling

Summary of ASA ruling

A website for Whinrigg Caravan Storage, www.whinriggcaravanstorage.co.uk included the text “We take pride in our site, which was awarded gold status by CASSOA in 2005. The site, which is well above CASSOA standards, may qualify our customers for discounts from many insurance companies, if they inform them of the security arrangements in place”.

The Caravan Storage Site Owners Association (CASSOA), who said that Whinrigg Caravan Storage was not a member of CASSOA, challenged whether the ad was misleading.

Whinrigg Caravan Storage said they did not believe that the claim was misleading and their site did receive gold status from CASSOA in 2005. They also stated that they received a gold star in 2011 and believed that they were entitled to inform their customers that the site met those standards. They advised that they had a notice on their office wall informing customers that they were no longer members and informed people in telephone calls. 

The ASA considered that consumers would interpret the claim that the site “was awarded gold status by CASSOA in 2005. The site, which is well above CASSOA standards …” to mean that the advertiser was a member of CASSOA in 2005 and that the site still met the organisation’s standards. In that context, in the absence of information to the contrary, the ASA considered consumers would understand that that they were still a member. The ASA understood that the site had previously been awarded gold status by CASSOA. However, the ASA also noted that the advertiser was, at the time of the complaint, no longer a member of the organisation. On that basis, the ASA concluded that the ad was misleading.

The claim must not appear again in its current form. The ASA told Whinrigg Caravan Storage to ensure they did not state or imply that they were a member of CASSOA if that was not the case.

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