Ad description

An e-mail sent on 13 February 2013 from AEG Live, a concert promoter, stated "Kanye West performing live at Hammersmith Apollo exclusive pre sale [sic] tickets available 9am Thursday 14 February. Kanye West will perform a one off show at London's Hammersmith Apollo Sunday 24th February 2013. Tickets don't go on general sale until 9am Friday [15 February] but we have an exclusive pre-sale just for you! Click the button below to get your tickets from 9am. Enter the password 'WEST' when asked".


The complainant challenged whether the claim "Kanye West will perform a one off show at London's Hammersmith Apollo Sunday 24th February 2013" was misleading because two further concert dates in London were subsequently announced.


AEG Live (UK) Ltd (AEG) explained that the Kanye West concerts were not typical events for them. The 24 February concert (the Concert) was arranged and marketed at extremely short notice and was intended to be a "one off" performance. At the time the e-mail was sent, there was no intention of additional shows and on that basis, they marketed the Concert as a "one off".

AEG said in response to the demand for tickets, both from the pre-sale and general sale, it was decided to put on additional shows. That decision was taken extremely quickly after the general sale tickets were released and they announced the additional shows publicly at the earliest opportunity the same day (15 February).

The e-mail was sent out to AEG's database on the evening of 13 February, prior to any discussions about putting on additional concerts. However, the hyperlink in that e-mail which allowed consumers to buy tickets did not work properly. Consequently, the same e-mail was re-sent on 14 February with the correct link. AEG confirmed that second e-mail had been sent before any decision about additional concerts had taken place. Once it had been confirmed that additional concerts would take place, AEG no longer promoted the Concert as a "one off".



The ASA acknowledged that at the time the ad was sent, AEG informed us that they had no plans to hold additional concerts and when further dates were added, AEG stopped promoting the Concert as a "one off". However, we considered the claim "one off" was likely to be interpreted by consumers who received the ad to mean no other Kanye West concerts would take place in the UK. Two days after the e-mail was sent, two further concert dates of 23 February and 1 March were announced and tickets for those concerts went on sale.

The ad was for a pre-sale event which we considered was likely to be seen as conferring an advantage to those receiving the e-mail over other consumers who wanted to buy tickets, but who would have to wait until the general sale went live. The description of the concert as a "one off" created the impression that the opportunity to obtain tickets for a Kanye West concert was limited to that pre-sale event and the general sale on 14 and 15 February respectively. Because two more concert dates were added which gave consumers further opportunities to buy tickets to attend a Kanye West concert and those dates were announced only two days after the ad was sent out originally, we concluded the claim that Kanye West would perform a "one off" concert in the UK had not been substantiated and was misleading.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules  3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.  (Misleading advertising) and  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).


The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told AEG Live (UK) Ltd not to describe concerts as "one off" when there was the possibility that further dates could be added.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

3.1     3.7    

More on