A website and a Facebook post for Laura Ashley:
a. The home page of the website www.lauraashley.com, seen in December 2016, advertised an “Up to 50% off Sale”. The terms and conditions page of the website stated that the sale ended on 2 January 2017.
b. The post on Laura Ashley’s Facebook page, posted on 21 December 2016, stated “Seasonal Offers, up to 60% off. 21 December - 2 January”.
The complainant, who understood that some sale items continued to be discounted and, in some cases were discounted even further after 2 January, challenged whether the closing date was misleading.
Laura Ashley Ltd said that in this case some items that were discounted in their winter sale were then discounted again in a separate sale which began in January. They said it was common for items to be discounted in more than one sale throughout the year and that in future they would ensure that their sales were clearly labelled so that it was clear that the discounted items were in separate sales.
We considered that consumers would generally understand from the ad that, in order to take advantage of the price reduction they would need to take the offer up by the 2 January, and the price would therefore return to the original price after that date. However, in this case the prices on some items continued to be discounted after 2 January. Although we acknowledged that this was the result of a second sale and not the result of the promotional end-date being extended, we considered that the inclusion of a closing date in the ads implied that the prices for products in the promotion would be increased after that date. Because that was not the case, we concluded that the ads were misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising).
We told Laura Ashley Ltd not to imply that a product would revert to a higher price if that was not the case.