The website for Kiddies Kingdom www.kiddies-kingdom.com, seen on 4 May 2021, included a banner which stated “SPRING SALE UP TO 75% OFF Offers on hundreds of lines. Whilst stocks last”.
IssueThe complainant, who was unable to find products that were reduced by 75%, challenged whether the claim “UP TO 75% OFF” was representative of the sale and therefore misleading.
ResponseKiddies Kingdom responded that the sale had ended, and that one of the items on their website was 75% off. They said they therefore used the terminology “up to” 75% off.
The ad stated “UP TO 75% OFF Offers available on hundreds of lines”. The ASA considered that consumers would understand the claim “up to 75% off” in that context to mean that the sale included hundreds of items and that a significant proportion of items were discounted at the maximum saving of 75%.
Kiddies Kingdom had confirmed that only one item on the website (and therefore only one item included in the sale), was discounted by 75%. We considered that a single item being sold at a 75% discount was not a significant proportion of the “hundreds” of items included in the sale. We therefore concluded that the ad was 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 3.22 (Prices).
The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Kiddies Kingdom Ltd that when making “up to [X]% off” claims they should ensure that a significant proportion of sale items were discounted by the stated percentage.