A website for Drones Direct, www.dronesdirect.co.uk, seen in September 2017, for a “DJI Goggles FPV Headset”, featured text that stated “Only £499.00 Save 12%”.
The complainant, who believed the price quoted was the recommended retail price, challenged whether the savings claim was misleading and could be substantiated.
Buy It Direct Ltd did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by Buy It Direct Ltd’s lack of substantive response and apparent disregard for the Code, and ruled that they had breached 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 the future.
We considered that consumers would understand the claim “Only £499.00 Save 12%” in the context of the ad to mean the higher price (i.e. the price before a 12% saving was applied) was genuine and that consumers could benefit from a 12% saving on that higher price. We did not consider the ad made clear whether the saving was against the advertiser's usual selling price or against competitors' prices.
Because the advertiser did not provide us with any evidence to demonstrate the savings claim was based on a genuine reference price, we concluded the claim 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), 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), 3.17 3.17 Price statements must not mislead by omission, undue emphasis or distortion. They must relate to the product featured in the marketing communication. (Prices) and 3.40 3.40 Price comparisons must not mislead by falsely claiming a price advantage. Comparisons with a recommended retail prices (RRPs) are likely to mislead if the RRP differs significantly from the price at which the product or service is generally sold. (Price Comparisons).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Buy It Direct to ensure they only used savings claims based on genuine reference prices and to ensure they held adequate substantiation. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance Team.