A website for Maisons du Monde, www.maisonsdumonde.com/UK, seen on 5 September 2017, included text on a product page titled “TERENCE Taupe-coloured cotton modular sofa bed left armrest” which stated “Ships within 5 weeks”.
The complainant, who did not receive their order within five weeks, challenged whether the claim "Ships within 5 weeks" was misleading.
Maisons du Monde did not respond to the ASA’s enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by Maisons du Monde’s 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 them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in the future.
We considered consumers would understand the claim “Ships within 5 weeks” to mean that the product would be released from the warehouse within five weeks from the date the product was ordered.
Because the advertiser did not provide us with any evidence to demonstrate that products were shipped within five weeks, we concluded the claim had not been substantiated and 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) 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 Maisons du Monde to ensure they did not mislead about shipping times and to ensure they held adequate substantiation for such claims in future. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance team.