Ad description

An ad on a ticket vendor's website,, was headed "Southport Weekender 2014 - The Big 50 Birmingham Coach". Text underneath stated "Standard Ticket", followed by a question mark icon. Hovering over that icon brought up a pop-up box in which text stated "The Big 50 Birmingham Coach Only". Under the heading "Details" text stated "Date Fri, 9th May 14 Doors Open 12:00 pm Last Entry 1.00 pm Event Ends Sun, 11th May 14 Age Restriction 18 and over Dress Code None Event Organiser Soulfusion". A section underneath, headed "Description", stated "Southport Weekender 2014 - The Big 50 Birmingham Coach Friday 9th May return Sunday 11th May Tickets £35 PER PERSON Southport Weekender is the world's friendliest party. Every year, over six thousand members of the worldwide Southport family spend three unforgettable days at the UK's most important black music event. Our passionate Weekender team transform Butlin's Holiday Resort in Minehead into four arenas hosting a world class line up of artists and DJs covering the whole spectrum of classic and contemporary soulful sounds. Having evolved from its beginnings as a soul music weekender, the 25 year old event now stands as the most musically diverse weekender in the UK festival calendar ... Unlike many three day events Southport Weekender provides warm, comfortable accommodation for Friday and Saturday night, in the form of self catering apartments, for each of their attendees. As this is included in the ticket price it's a strong argument for The Weekender being the best value for money weekend event around ...". Under the sub-heading "Coaches", text stated "Depart from Birmingham City Central FRIDAY 9th MAY-12PM to Butlins, Minehead, Somerset. Depart on SUNDAY 11th May - from 2pm the Main Entrance at Butlins, Minehead, Somerset".


The complainant challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that the tickets on sale were for the event itself, rather than just for the transport to the event.


Birmingham 29 Ltd t/a said that the details of the event were uploaded by the promoter, Soulfusion. They said their Terms and Conditions specified that promoters were responsible for ensuring all information was clear and accurate. They considered the heading "Southport Weekender 2014 - The Big 50 Birmingham Coach" made clear that the ticket was just for coach travel and not for entry to the event. They clarified that the ticket name "Standard Ticket" was a standard automatic ticket name. The question mark icon next to the ticket name appeared on all event pages so that website users could see what was included in the ticket price. They said the text in the pop-up box was completed by promoters.

Soulfusion, the promoter of the event, said they only uploaded the following information to the website: "Southport Weekender 2014 - The Big 50 Birmingham Coach. Departing from Birmingham City Central Friday 9th May - 12PM. Return departure from Butlins (Main Entrance), Minehead, Somerset Sunday 11th May - 1PM. £35 PER PERSON - Closing Date 1st April 2014. Seat Reservations £15 NON-REFUNDABLE. Final Payment 28th February after seat reservation will be cancelled" and did not upload the text in the "Description" section.



The ASA acknowledged that, if website visitors hovered their mouse pointer over the question mark icon next to the text "Standard Ticket", text which stated "The Big 50 Birmingham Coach Only" appeared in a pop-up box. However, we considered it likely that some website users might not see that information due to the method by which it was made available. Information elsewhere in the ad did not make explicit that the tickets were for coach travel only, and we therefore considered that the overall impression created by the information in the ad, including in the "Details" and "Description" sections, was ambiguous as to whether the ticket related solely to coach travel to and from the event, or coach travel and a ticket to the event. As a result, we considered it likely that some consumers would be misled into understanding that the ticket included entry to the event as well as return coach travel. We concluded the ad breached the Code.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules  3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.  and  3.3 3.3 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.
 (Misleading advertising),  3.9 3.9 Marketing communications must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify.  and  3.10 3.10 Qualifications must be presented clearly.
CAP has published a Help Note on Claims that Require Qualification.


The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told and Soulfusion to ensure that their advertising for events made clear what was included in the ticket price.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

3.1     3.10     3.3     3.9    

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