A product listing for a Samsung Galaxy Tab S on the John Lewis website www.johnlewis.com, seen on 15 September 2015, stated “Special Offer - Save £30 (saving already applied to price) £319”.
The complainant, who had seen the product previously advertised at £298, challenged whether the claim “save £30” was misleading.
John Lewis Partnership plc provided a price history for the product and explained that the Samsung Galaxy Tab had been sold at £349 for a period of 201 days prior to the promotion starting. During the promotional period the tablet was sold for £319 for 11 days, then the price was further lowered to £298 for a period of three days in response to a competitor and in order to uphold their “never knowingly undersold commitment”. John Lewis then reverted to selling the product at the original promotional price of £319 for a further 14 days. They believed that the ad was not misleading as the savings claim was based on a comparison between the promotional price and their usual selling price of the product.
The ASA considered that consumers viewing the ad would understand that where the Samsung Galaxy Tab S was being sold for £319 inclusive of a £30 saving, the product was therefore usually sold at £349.
We noted that John Lewis provided evidence of substantial sales at £349 over a period of 201 consecutive days before the promotion began which we were satisfied demonstrated that £349 was the usual selling price of the product at the time the ad appeared.
We considered whether, in that context, the temporary selling price of £298 during the promotional period was material information that was omitted from the ad and was misleading to consumers. We noted that of a total period of 229 days, the product was sold at the promotional price of £319 for 11 days, then at £298 for three days before reverting back to £319 for a further 14 days. Having had regard to the length of time and the volume of sales at each price point, we did not consider the three-day reduction to be substantial enough to constitute material information that needed to be included in the ad. For those reasons, we concluded the ad was not misleading.
We investigated the ad under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer 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 the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means. (Misleading advertising) 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 necessary.