The website www.95max.co.uk, seen on 19 October 2017, promoted Nike trainers, and quoted prices for those trainers.
The complainant challenged whether the ad misleadingly omitted the geographical address of the marketer.
95max.co.uk did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by 95max.co.uk’s lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 1.7 Any unreasonable delay in responding to the ASA's enquiries will normally be considered a breach of the Code. (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
The CAP Code stated that marketing communications must not mislead consumers by omitting material information. For ads that quoted prices for advertised products, material information included the identity and geographical address of the marketer.
We noted that the website had a ‘.co.uk’ address, and that the prices were shown in GBP. We considered that consumers were likely to understand that the advertiser was based in the UK. However, we understood that was not the case, but that they were based in China. The complainant had received the incorrect item and wanted to return it, but had been unable to find an address for the advertiser, and we considered that the need for returns to be made to China was significant information that needed to be stated prominently to consumers.
For those reasons, we considered that the geographical address of the advertiser was likely to be material information to consumers, and it therefore should have been included in the ad. Because it was not, we therefore concluded that the ad was likely to mislead.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means. and 3.4.2 3.4.2 the identity (for example, a trading name) and geographical address of the marketer and any other trader on whose behalf the marketer is acting (Misleading advertising).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told 95max.co.uk not to mislead by omitting material information such as their geographical address from their advertising. We referred the matter to CAP’s Compliance team.