A website, dateinadash.com, for speed dating services, featured text on the home page that stated "The Number #1 Speed Dating Event in London ... Dozens of Singles! Fun Events! Great Nights! ... London's #1 Speed Dating Events & Singles Parties OVER 2,500 MEMBERS BUSY WEEKLY EVENTS".
The complainant challenged whether the claim "London's #1 Speed Dating Events & Singles Parties" was misleading and could be substantiated.
DateinaDash.com believed consumers would not interpret the claim to mean that they were the largest speed dating company. They pointed out that the ad stated that they had over 2,500 members and therefore made clear that in relative terms they did not have a large number of members. Rather, they considered consumers would understand the claim to mean that they offered the best speed dating service, which they believed was accurate. In support of that conclusion, they said they had made a number of TV appearances; had dozens of positive reviews from customers; hosted events in more venues than any other speed dating company in London; offered more event types than any other speed dating company; and had more Twitter followers than any other speed dating company.
The ASA noted that text beneath the claim stated "OVER 2,500 MEMBERS BUSY WEEKLY EVENTS". In that context, we considered consumers would understand the claim "London's #1 Speed Dating Events & Singles Parties" to mean that DateinaDash.com's speed dating events and singles parties were attended by more members than other speed dating events and singles parties in London. Because we had not seen comparative evidence to demonstrate that, we considered the claim had not been substantiated. We therefore concluded that the ad breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising), 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation) and 3.38 3.38 Marketing communications that include a comparison with an unidentifiable competitor must not mislead, or be likely to mislead, the consumer. The elements of the comparison must not be selected to give the marketer an unrepresentative advantage. (Comparisons).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told DateinaDash.com to ensure they held comparative evidence to support claims in future.