A promotion on www.travelsupermarket.com stated "... Everyone who enters will be included in a prize draw to win £750 in cash - perfect to put towards your next family getaway. Five lucky runners up will each win £50 Toys ‘R’ Us vouchers. Everyone who enters will have their child's drawing made into a Christmas card and sent to them before the big day ...". Text within the terms and conditions, provided via a link from the promotion page, stated "... To be in with a chance of winning: Entrants must notify TravelSupermarket.com of their entry by 17th December 2012 ... TravelSupermarket.com reserves the right to extend the dates of the promotion and we will notify you via [Twitter account] of this ...".
A complainant challenged whether the rules surrounding the administration of the promotion had been observed, because it was announced on the promoter's Twitter feed on 17 December that the closing date had been extended.
Moneysupermarket.com (Moneysupermarket) said the promotion had been essentially an offer of seasonal goodwill which allowed children to receive a personalised Christmas card and, for a number of participants, the opportunity to receive a cash or gift token award. They said the closing date was extended on 17 December to allow more children to benefit from a personalised Christmas card. They said the terms and conditions stated that Moneysupermarket reserved the right to extend the closing date and described the manner in which that would be done.
The CAP Code allowed for closing dates to be changed only if circumstances outside the reasonable control of the promoter made it unavoidable. The ASA considered that the inclusion of the closing date of 17 December suggested that participants needed to respond by that date in order to enter the draw and take advantage of the offer. Despite the warning in the terms and conditions, we considered it was nevertheless not in line with the CAP Code for the closing date to be extended unless circumstances outside the reasonable control of the promoter made it unavoidable. Because of that, we concluded that the ad was in breach of the CAP Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 8.1 8.1 Promoters are responsible for all aspects and all stages of their promotions. and 8.2 8.2 Promoters must conduct their promotions equitably, promptly and efficiently and be seen to deal fairly and honourably with participants and potential participants. Promoters must avoid causing unnecessary disappointment. (Sales promotion rules) and 8.1 8.1 Promoters are responsible for all aspects and all stages of their promotions. .4e (Significant conditions for promotions).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Moneysupermarket to ensure closing dates of promotions were not extended unless circumstances outside their reasonable control made it unavoidable.