An ad for a stationary exercise bike, seen on www.idealworld.tv in July 2017, stated “Bike Box Hands Free Compact Exercise Bike. £89.99. Save £100.00. Usually £189.99 [crossed out]”.
The complainant challenged whether the savings claim was misleading and could be substantiated.
Ideal Shopping Direct Ltd said they did not believe the ad was misleading because the product and its offer were genuine. The Bike Box was exclusive to Ideal Shopping Direct and was not sold elsewhere. They said that between 14 April 2017 and 15 July 2017 (in excess of 90 days), they sold the Bike Box at the higher price of £189.99. They provided sales data from the past six months and a copy of an ad that was broadcast on their TV home shopping channel between 12 June 2017 and 16 July 2017, which advertised the product at the higher price. Ideal Shopping Direct believed that £189.99 was a genuine representation of the price at which the product had been generally sold.
The ASA considered that consumers were likely to understand the claim “Save £100.00” to represent a genuine saving against the usual selling price for the Bike Box at the time that the ad appeared.
We assessed the sales data provided by Ideal Shopping Direct. We noted that in the six months prior to the ad being seen, the Bike Box had been offered at £189.99 for 110 out of 150 days. Though the duration of the sales periods varied, the product was always offered at the higher price for longer, with the longest consecutive period being for 79 days. We therefore considered that the product had been on sale at the higher price for significantly longer than at a reduced price.
Four per cent of sales in the six-month period had been made at £189.99. While that was a relatively low proportion of total sales, we noted that it amounted to 97 products. A further 149 sales had been made at the higher price of £194.99. We considered that significant sales had been made at £189.99 or higher and that there was a reasonable expectation that customers would purchase the Bike Box at that price. We concluded that £189.99 was the usual selling price for the product at the time the ad appeared. We considered that the associated savings claim had been substantiated and was therefore not misleading.
We investigated the ad under 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 3.17 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), but did not find it in breach.
No further action required.