Three emails for Wish.com, an e-commerce platform:
a. An email seen on 24 January 2018 included text which stated “Fight crime like a superhero with 50-90% off professional security systems, doorbell cameras…Shop Now Today’s Trending Products” underneath included images of a number of security cameras each with a price and a crossed out price, for example £109 £914 [crossed out].
b. An email seen on 27 January 2018 included text which stated “Comfort for your feet a priority? Check out the latest trending sneakers today! Shop Now Today’s trending Products” underneath included images of a number of trainers and lifestyle electronics products each with a price and a crossed out price £8 £473 [crossed out].
c. An email seen on 28 January 2018 included text which stated “Because life’s too short to always dress up. Check out the collection of casual tops on Wish today. Shop Now Today’s Trending Products” underneath included images of a number of men’s tops and lifestyle electronics products each with a price and a crossed out price, for example £5 £99 [crossed out].
The complainant challenged whether the savings claims for each product was misleading and could be substantiated.
ContextLogic Inc t/a wish.com did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by wish.com’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 ASA considered that consumers were likely to understand that the crossed out prices in ads (a) to (c) were prices that the products had previously been sold at and that they would be saving the difference between the two prices. As we had not seen any evidence that demonstrated the savings claims were genuine, we concluded that the savings claims had not been substantiated and the ads were therefore misleading.
The ads 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) and 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).
The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told wish.com to ensure that future ads did not make savings claims that were likely to be understood as representing the usual selling prices of the product, unless they held adequate evidence to substantiate the claims. We referred the matter to CAP’s Compliance team.