Claims on the website www.store.origin.com, for "The Ultimate Shortcut Bundle", stated "Get all weapons and gadgets unique to all four classes, all upgrades for both air and ground vehicles, and all co-op weapons in the ultimate shortcut bundle! This massive pack immediately unlocks all 119 weapons, gadgets, and vehicle upgrades from all other available shortcut packs ... The Ultimate Bundle literally contains too many items to list in this space! For a complete listing of all of the items in this bundle, please refer to these individual packs and their respective descriptions: Kit Shortcut Bundle, Air Vehicle Shortcut, Ground Vehicle Shortcut, and Co-op Weapons Shortcut ...".
The complainant challenged whether the ad was misleading, because he believed that the product did not unlock all unique products for all classes of the game.
Electronic Arts Ltd said there were a number of different categories of locked items within the video game (Battlefield 3) and that unlocking items by playing the game could be time consuming and/or difficult, which was why they had made seven shortcut kits which allowed people access to certain items instantly. They also produced bundles of those short cut kits, one of which was The Ultimate Shortcut Bundle. They said the phrase "Get all weapons and gadgets unique to all four classes" referred to the "Kit Specific" unlocks, i.e. those that could only be used in combination with one of the four classes that players could choose between when playing the game ("Assault", "Engineer", "Support" and "Recon"). They said additional kit specific weapons had been added to the game after The Ultimate Shortcut Bundle was created, but that those weapons were not a part of the basic game and could only be used by those who had also purchased specific expansion packs.
The ASA noted that the ad included an image of the cover of the game and a statement below the price that read "To use this add-on you must own: Battlefield 3". We considered that consumers would understand the claim "Get all weapons and gadgets unique to all four classes" to mean that The Ultimate Shortcut Bundle would provide shortcuts to unlock every weapon unique to one of the four classes available within the game. Furthermore, we noted that consumers were directed to check the full list of items unlocked by the bundle on a separate page of the website.
We understood that the complainant had been disappointed to discover that some unique weapons had not been unlocked, but we understood that the weapons he had identified were only available to those who had bought both the game and one of two additional expansion packs that had been produced to complement the game. Because The Ultimate Shortcut Bundle included shortcuts to unlock all unique weapons available when playing the original version of the game, and because consumers (including those who had bought an expansion pack) had the opportunity to see an exhaustive list of the weapons included in the bundle, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to mislead.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means. (Misleading advertising), but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.