A website for Hurtigruten, www.hurtigruten.com, an expedition cruise company, seen on 6 June 2023, featured text stating, “Northen Lights Expedition Cruise from London”. Crossed out text below stated, “Price from £4,932”. A new price of £1,994 was shown in larger text below.
The complainant, who had previously booked the cruise at a lower price than £4,932 and had never seen it sold at that price, challenged whether the savings claim was misleading.
Hurtigruten Ltd said the savings claim was pulled from the wrong location on the website due to a recent change in IT systems. They said they would correct the IT error as a matter of urgency.
They explained that the incorrect savings claim affected only one cabin category on the cruise and that they did not intend to publish misleading savings claims.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand the crossed-out price of £4,932 to represent the price at which the cruise was usually sold and therefore they would be able to make significant savings by purchasing the cruise at the discounted price of £1,994. We understood that the crossed-out price had been included in error due to an IT issue and we welcomed the action of Hurtigruten to correct the error as soon as they became aware of it. However, because Hurtigruten were unable to supply evidence that showed that £4,932 was the established usual selling price of the cruise and that the price reduction represented a genuine saving for consumers, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.17 (Prices).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Hurtigruten Ltd to ensure their future savings claims did not mislead by including a crossed-out price that was not the usual selling price of the cruise.