A product listing for a fitness tracker for children, seen on www.kidsfitnesstrackers.co.uk on 9 October 2019, included the text “Kids fitness & activity colour tracker fitbit FOURFIT MINI tracker watch for children”. A price of £49.99 was crossed-out beside a “Sale” price of £29.99.
The complainant, who believed that the product had not been sold for £49.99, challenged whether the ‘was’ price was misleading.
Kidsfitnesstrackers did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by kidsfitnesstrackers’ lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 1.7 Any unreasonable delay in responding to the ASA's enquiries will normally be considered a breach of the Code. (Unreasonable delay). We reminded kidsfitnesstrackers of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
The ASA considered that consumers were likely to understand that the crossed out price of £49.99 was a genuine established usual selling price for the product and that they would be saving the difference between the two prices. As we had not seen any evidence that demonstrated that the “was” price was a genuine established usual selling price for the product, we concluded that the “was” price had not been substantiated and the ad was misleading.
The ad breached 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).
The ad must not appear in its current form. We told kidsfitnesstrackers to ensure that future ads did not make savings claims that were likely to be understood as representing the usual selling prices of the product, unless they held adequate evidence to substantiate the claim. We referred the matter to CAP’s Compliance team.