A TV ad for Oak Furniture Land, seen on 25 January 2017, showed a man wearing an Oak Furniture Land badge arriving home in the evening to a well-furnished home, reclining on a sofa and then getting into bed ready for sleep. The voice-over referred to the Oak Furniture Land winter sale and being able to furnish a whole room, and stated, "We could deliver within seven days, at a date and time that suits you". On-screen text showed a credit example and the text "Delivery UK and N.I. only, additional Express Delivery and Care and Protection Package costs included in monthly payment shown".
The complainant, who was told she would need to pay an additional £39 for delivery at a time to suit her, challenged whether the ad was misleading because it did not make the delivery costs clear.
Oak Furniture Land said the ad was advertising a specific finance offer in which the monthly payment stated in the ad included express seven-day delivery and their furniture care and protection package. They believed the on-screen text explained that the monthly payment included seven-day delivery. Oak Furniture Land did not believe the ad was misleading but said they would agree to include the £39 Express Delivery charge in the on-screen text in future.
Clearcast said they fully endorsed Oak Furniture Land's response.
The ASA noted that the voice-over that stated, "We could deliver within seven days, at a date and time that suits you" was preceded by the voice-over which made statements relating to the composition of the furniture and the total and monthly payments for furnishing a room, but did not provide any further detail about the breakdown of costs. We therefore considered some consumers would interpret the voice-over to mean that delivery within seven days at a date and time that suited the customer was part of Oak Furniture Land's standard service, rather than something that would attract an additional charge. We did not consider that it was clear from the voice-over that it constituted their Express Delivery service.
We noted that the on-screen text that set out the credit example stated "Delivery UK and N.I. only, additional Express Delivery and Care and Protection Package costs included in monthly payment shown". While the text therefore referred to an additional charge for Express Delivery, we considered it did nothing to correct the impression given in the voice-over that delivery within seven days at a date and time that suited the customer was part of Oak Furniture Land's standard service. Furthermore, the final screen of the ad contained large text which stated "FREE Delivery on everything", which again did nothing to correct the impression.
We welcomed Oak Furniture Land's willingness to amend the ad to make delivery costs clear. However, we considered their suggestion, to include £39 Express Delivery charge in on-screen text that was already detailed, would not be sufficient in that case to correct the impression that delivery within seven days at a date and time that suited the consumer was part of Oak Furniture Land's standard service. Because we considered that the ad did not make the delivery options and cost sufficiently clear to viewers, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached BCAP Code rules
Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Advertisements must not mislead consumers 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 consumers need in context to make informed decisions about whether or how to buy a product or service. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead consumers depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the advertisement is constrained by time or space, the measures that the advertiser takes to make that information available to consumers by other means. and 3.3.4 3.3.4 delivery charges (Misleading advertising).
The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form. We told Oak Furniture Land to ensure their ads do not suggest that delivery within seven days at a date and time that suited the customer was part of Oak Furniture Land's standard service, if that was not the case.