A national press ad for the Bendochy Park development, seen on 15 April 2023. Text at the top of the ad stated, “HERITAGE PARK ESTATES ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THEIR BRAND NEW DEVELOPMENT OF 43 BESPOKE BUILT LODGES […] YOUR DREAM HOME BUILT YOUR WAY”. Next to that was a circle which contained the text “OVER 45’S”. Further text in the body of the ad stated, “The park is a brand new development […] Made up of 43 bespoke built park home lodges […] 2 AND 3 BEDROOM OPTIONS AVAILABLE, PRIVATE PLOTS WITH INDIVIDUAL DRIVEWAYS”. Bullet points highlighting features of the development included text which stated, “OPEN 365 DAYS A YEAR”.
The complainant, who understood that the Bendochy Park development was a holiday park and not a residential development, challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that the properties could be used as a main residence.
Heritage Park Estates Ltd t/a Bendochy Park said that there might have been issues with aspects of the wording of the ad. They confirmed that the lodges available for purchase at the park could not be used as sole residences and were intended for holiday use only. Overall, they thought that because the word “lodge” had been used extensively, rather than “home”, and because the word “residential” had not featured in the ad, they did not think it would mislead customers as to the nature of the properties. Bendochy Park said that all paperwork and contracts relating to a potential purchase of a lodge clearly stated that they were for holiday use only, and required that the purchaser provided them with their main residence address. They said that they had taken steps to ensure future ads were in line with the requirements of the CAP Code.
The ad included a prominent headline text which stated, “YOUR DREAM HOME BUILT YOUR WAY”, a prominent bullet point which stated that the park was “OPEN 365 DAYS A YEAR”, and several further references to the units being “homes”. The ASA considered that consumers would understand from the ad that the units available could be used as a main residence.
However, we understood that the units at Bendochy Park were only licensed as holiday homes, which under the terms of that licensing could not be used as a sole or main residence. The ad did not include any information to make that clear, or counteract the impression that it could be used as a “home”.
Because consumers were likely to understand from the ad that the units advertised could be used as main residences when that was not the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Heritage Park Estates Ltd to ensure that they did not state or imply that their holiday units could be used for main residential purposes, if that was not the case.