Summary of Council decision:
Three issues were investigated, all of which were Upheld.
A number of websites for the holiday provider, Love all Inclusive. The website, www.loveallinclusiveusa.com stated on its home page "Financial Protection … Your holiday is safe with us", it also featured the ABTA logo. Under the tab "About Us" the website stated "THE LOVE ALL INCLUSIVE TIMELINE … Our first office opens on the Costa Blanca … 2003". The website then stated "2011 … Emerald finance is launched offering financial and legal services backed by a Ministry of Justice license". This was accompanied with the Ministry of Justice logo.
KwikChex Ltd, as part of the Timeshare Task Force, challenged whether:
1. the use of the logos for ABTA, and the Ministry of Justice misleadingly implied that Love all Inclusive were endorsed by those organisations;
2. the claim that the company was founded in 2003 was misleading and could be substantiated; and
3. the claim that Love all Inclusive were connected with Emerald Finance and "backed by a Ministry of Justice license" was misleading and could be substantiated.
Love All Inclusive did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by Love All Inclusive's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
1. & 3. Upheld
We noted that the ad featured the logos of ABTA and the Ministry of Justice and, alongside the statement that they were "backed by a Ministry of Justice license" and the reference to their association with Emerald Finance, we considered that consumers would understand that a holiday booked through Love All Inclusive had financial and/ or legal protection under the terms of each organisation. However, we had seen no evidence to demonstrate that Love All Inclusive were members of ABTA or were associated with the Ministry of Justice or Emerald Finance. For these reasons, we concluded the ad was misleading.
On these points 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), 3.45 3.45 Marketers must hold documentary evidence that a testimonial or endorsement used in a marketing communication is genuine, unless it is obviously fictitious, and hold contact details for the person who, or organisation that, gives it. and 3.50 3.50 Marketing communications must not display a trust mark, quality mark or equivalent without the necessary authorisation. Marketing communications must not claim that the marketer (or any other entity referred to), the marketing communication or the advertised product has been approved, endorsed or authorised by any public or other body if it has not or without complying with the terms of the approval, endorsement or authorisation. (Endorsements and testimonials).
Love All Inclusive did not provide evidence that demonstrated continuous trading since 2003. We therefore concluded the ad was misleading.
On this point 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) and 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).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Love All Inclusive not to imply they were associated with or endorsed by an organisation or company, or that they had been trading continuously since 2003, if that was not the case. We referred the matter to CAP's Compliance team.