On a section of the Moneysupermarket website offering discount vouchers for personalised wall art, text stated "Canvas Buddy present £9 instead of £30 for a 48cm x 35cm framed canvas-effect portrait". Below the headline was an image of the canvas in a living room setting, placed above a sofa. The width of the canvas was almost equal to two seats of the sofa.
Phooto.co.uk and a member of the public challenged whether the image was misleading because it seemed to exaggerate the size of the canvas on offer.
Moneysupermarket.com Ltd (Moneysupermarket.com) stated that the claim "£9 instead of £30 for a 48cm x 35cm framed canvas" included dimensions of the product, was used as the title for the product and was repeated a further three times in prominent and bold text on the same page, including under a section titled 'highlights' and directly above the 'view deal' button.
They stated that there was no intention to exaggerate the size of the canvas on offer and the image in the ad was used for illustrative purposes only. They said that only a small section of a sofa was included in the image, which clarified this point further.
They also said that the offer had been very well received by customers and no complaints had been received about the layout of the ad.
The ASA noted Moneysupermarket.com's arguments but disagreed. We considered that including an image of a canvas within a lounge setting placed above a sofa could have led a customer to believe they would receive a product of comparable size, whereas the one on offer was considerably smaller. We noted their point that only a small section of a sofa was visible on the website. However, we considered that the sofa was prominent enough in the image to give customers an exaggerated impression of the final product. We therefore concluded that 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) and 3.11 3.11 Marketing communications must not mislead consumers by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product. (Exaggeration).
The ad must not appear again in its current form.