A website for Fanatics, www.fanatics-intl.com, a retailer of licensed sports merchandise, seen on 22 March 2022, advertised a Pittsburgh Penguins Replica Home Jersey. Text in a panel across the top of the page stated, “DEAL ENDS SOON! 25% OFF – USE CODE: LIGHT”. Smaller text stated, “*Exclusions Apply”. Text below front and rear images of the jersey stated “£60.00 with code: LIGHT” followed by “Regular: £80.00” [crossed through].
IssueThe complainant, who used the code “LIGHT” at checkout but was told the item was excluded from the promotion, challenged whether the claim that the price of the jersey was £60 with code LIGHT was misleading.
ResponseFanatics (International) Ltd did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by Fanatics (International) Ltd’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 respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
We considered consumers would understand “25% OFF – USE CODE: LIGHT” and “£60 with code: LIGHT … Regular: £80.00” [crossed through] to mean that the price of the product would be £60 when the code LIGHT was entered at the checkout. However, the complainant’s experience was that the item was excluded from the promotion. Fanatics had sent neither an explanation for that, nor any evidence that showed other customers had received the discount on the product by using the code.
Because the ad suggested that the 25% off promotional code applied to the product and that the product could be purchased at the discounted price of £60, and we had not seen evidence that that was the case, we concluded that 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), 3.17 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), 8.1 8.1 Promoters are responsible for all aspects and all stages of their promotions. and 8.2 8.2 Promoters must conduct their promotions equitably, promptly and efficiently and be seen to deal fairly and honourably with participants and potential participants. Promoters must avoid causing unnecessary disappointment. (Promotional marketing) and 8.14 8.14 Promoters must ensure that their promotions are conducted under proper supervision and make adequate resources available to administer them. Promoters, agencies and intermediaries should not give consumers justifiable grounds for complaint. (Administration).
We referred the matter to CAP’s Compliance team. The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Fanatics (International) Ltd to ensure their ads did not state or imply that discount codes and discounted prices applied to products if that was not the case.