Claims on www.dylanqueen.co.uk stated "BUY ONE DRESS SAVE 6% OFF COUPON CODE: SAVE6 BUY TWO DRESSES SAVE 12% OFF COUPON CODE: SAVE12 BUY MORE DRESSES SAVE 17% OFF COUPON CODE: SAVE17 SHOP NOW". A timer featured next to the text counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds.
The complainant, who understood that a sale was always on, challenged whether that the website was misleading because it implied that it was on for a limited time.
Dylanqueen.co.uk said they would refund the customer 8% off their purchase.
The ASA considered consumers would interpret the saving claims alongside a timer counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to mean that the savings were only available during a promotional period, which would finish at the end of the countdown of the time displayed. However, we had not seen evidence to show that the savings were only available during the limited period indicated by the timer. Because we considered consumers might make a transactional decision on the basis of the limited sale period and be deprived of time to make an informed choice, we concluded the ad 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) and 3.31 3.31 Marketing communications must not falsely claim that the marketer is about to cease trading or move premises. They must not falsely state that a product, or the terms on which it is offered, will be available only for a very limited time to deprive consumers of the time or opportunity to make an informed choice. (Availability).
The ad must not appear in its current form. We told dylanqueen.co.uk to ensure their marketing communications did not misleadingly imply products were on promotion for a limited period.