A website for Currys PC World, seen at the beginning of June 2018, promoted a ‘SAMSUNG Family Hub ... American-Style Smart Fridge Freezer’. The product page for the fridge freezer featured an image of the product, with a red square text box positioned next to the image that stated “10% off marked price”. The page also stated a price “£2,999.99” in large red text.
The same product page was seen again on 8 June 2018, which featured the same text box that stated “10% off marked price”. The page also stated a price “£3,299.99” in large red text.
A desktop version of the site, seen on 15 June 2018, included text which stated “DISCOUNT CODE - 10% off the marked price on this product. Enter code SAMSUNG10 at checkout. Also available in store. Must end soon!”.
The complainant, who understood that the product had been advertised at £2,999.99 before the start of the sale promotion, challenged whether the savings claims were misleading.
DSG Retail Ltd t/a Currys PC World said the promotion ran from 6 June to 19 June 2018. They said the only terms and conditions attached to the promotion were ‘Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer’. They said it was a promotion restricted to the Samsung range, with 10% off the marked price on all Samsung large kitchen appliances over £400. All applicable Samsung appliances were a part of the event, including the product in the ad.
They said the product was not advertised with a price inclusive of any discount and no saving was claimed. Purchasing customers could achieve 10% off the marked price of the product on the date of their purchase. The product was priced at £2,999.99 on the start date of the promotion and was priced up to £3,299.99 on the second day the promotion was live to react to market conditions at the time. They said the product actually moved up in price to £3,999.99 at the end of the promotion, considerably more than the price customers could achieve (£2,969.99) during the promotion, and stayed at that price for some 18 days. They said the product had been priced in excess of £3,299.99 for some 70 days in the months preceding the promotion, including a 35-day period prior to the £2999.99 price.
They provided pricing history for the product from January to July 2018.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand from the claim “10% off marked price” that they could receive a 10% discount against the price shown at the bottom of the page. We considered that, while the ad referred to the “marked price”, which meant consumers might not assume the stated price was the usual selling price of the product, we considered they were nevertheless likely to understand that a price of £3,299.99 had applied to the product before the offer had been introduced and that they could make a genuine saving by applying the 10% reduction to the stated price.
We understood from the ads provided by the complainant that the “10% off marked price” promotion had applied when the marked price was both £2,999.99 and subsequently when it was priced at £3,299.99. Therefore, consumers would pay more during the latter “10 % off”’ promotion than they would have done immediately prior to that price applying.
The pricing history supplied by DSG showed that £2,999 (and the relevant promotional discount) was the price that had applied for the longest single period – 22 days dating back to 31 January 2018, with the price having fluctuated significantly over that period.
In that context, we considered that consumers, had they been aware of the price and promotion that applied immediately prior to the ads, would not have seen the stated discount as genuine.
We therefore concluded that the ads were 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) 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 ad must not appear again in the same form. We told DSG Retail Ltd t/a Currys PC World not to misleadingly suggest a genuine saving was available when that was not the case.