A Euro 2016 promotion from Coral, seen in the national press in June 2016, stated “FREE £5 BET. BET £10 ON A TOURNAMENT WINNER GET £5 EVERY TIME THEY WIN*”. Smaller text stated “AVAILABLE TO NEW & EXISTING CONNECT CUSTOMERS IN ANY CORAL SHOP”. Small print linked by an asterisk beneath the ad stated “Available to multi-channel Connect customers in any Coral shop”.
The complainant, who was told he was not eligible for the offer as his Connect card was in-shop only, challenged whether the ad was misleading because it implied that the offer was available to all Connect customers.
Investigated under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.9 and 3.10 (Qualification).
Coral Interactive (Gibraltar) Ltd said that the main text in the ad stating that the promotion was available to all Connect customers was in fact correct. They said that the offer was credited to both multi-channel and in-shop customers who were eligible after they placed the qualifying bet, meaning that no Connect customer who decided to take advantage of the offer would have been disadvantaged or misled. The small print stating “Available to multi-channel Connect customers in any Coral shop” was included in error and did not apply to that particular promotion. Coral said that they had taken steps to ensure this did not happen again. They also said that the complainant had been incorrectly told by their customer service team that he was not eligible for the offer.
The ASA considered that consumers were likely to understand that the claim “AVAILABLE TO NEW & EXISTING CONNECT CUSTOMERS IN ANY CORAL SHOP” meant that all Connect customers would be able to take advantage of the offer. We noted Coral’s comments that the small print stating “Available to multi-channel Connect customers in any Coral shop” had been included in the ad in error and that they had taken action to ensure that this did not happen again. Nevertheless, we considered that consumers were likely to interpret the condition as contradicting rather than qualifying the claim and we therefore concluded that the ad was misleading in that respect.
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 3.9 3.9 Marketing communications must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify. (Qualification).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Coral Interactive (Gibraltar) Ltd to ensure that any qualifications in their future promotions clarified, rather than contradicted their headline claims.