A banner ad for flights with Norwegian Air Shuttle, seen while viewing a flight comparison website on 31 May 2018, featured text which stated "Fly for less. Stay for longer...Helsinki Direct from London From/one way incl. taxes £29.90*". The asterisk linked to text which stated "T&Cs apply".
The complainant, who could find no fares available at £29.90, challenged whether the price claim in the ad was misleading and could be substantiated.
Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (Norwegian Air) stated that the ad generated a dynamic feed directly from their own website displaying the lowest fare available within the next nine months.
They stated that there were no IT issues on the day the ad was seen and that the flights were available at the advertised price.
The ASA considered that consumers would interpret the claim "From/one way incl. taxes £29.90*" to mean that a reasonable quantity of flights would be available at £29.90 at the time the ad appeared.
We therefore expected Norwegian Air to be able to demonstrate that the price in question was available to consumers at the time the ad appeared, and in reasonable quantities. We also expected them to make clear the date on which the “from” price was accurate and, where relevant, that it was subject to change and that there was limited availability.
We acknowledged Norwegian Air’s response that flights were available at the advertised price on the day the ad was seen. However, we had not seen any evidence to demonstrate that this was the case, and that a reasonable quantity of flights was available at the advertised “from” price. The ad also did not make clear the date on which the “from” price was accurate, nor clarify that the price was subject to change or include any information about how limited the availability of tickets was. For those reasons, we concluded that the price claim in 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), 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), 3.17 3.17 Price statements must not mislead by omission, undue emphasis or distortion. They must relate to the product featured in the marketing communication. and 3.22 3.22 Price claims such as "up to" and "from" must not exaggerate the availability or amount of benefits likely to be obtained by the consumer. (Prices).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA to ensure that they held adequate evidence to demonstrate that "from" prices were available to consumers in reasonable quantities. We also told them to make clear the date on which “from” prices were accurate and, where relevant, that they were subject to change and that there was limited availability.