A radio ad for Dexter’s Surf Shop, heard in June 2016, stated “Dexter’s Surf and Activity Centre, Scarborough’s only Surfing GB accredited surf school academy, located right on the beach North Bay, Scarborough”.
The complainant, who understood there was another Surfing GB accredited surf school in the Borough of Scarborough, challenged whether the claim was misleading and could be substantiated.
The broadcaster, Yorkshire Coast Radio, stated that it was their understanding that there were two surf schools accredited in Scarborough. Dexter’s Surf shop, however, was the only ‘academy’. They provided a response from Surfing GB which stated that Dexter’s Surf Shop was accredited with them on an academy certificate. They also confirmed that Scarborough Surf School were accredited with them on a recreational certificate.
School & Hire Centre Ltd t/a Dexter’s Surf Shop did not provide any additional comments in response to the complaint.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand the claim “Scarborough’s only Surfing GB accredited surf school academy” to mean that Dexter’s Surf Shop was the only surf school academy to be accredited by Surfing GB in the Scarborough area.
We understood that, according to the British Surf School Accreditation Scheme, there were four levels of membership that surf schools could apply for which had a set criteria based on the programmes taught and the qualifications held by their employees and this differed between each level. We noted that the ‘Academy’ level was the second highest membership level and the ‘Recreational’ level was the lowest level of membership.
We understood that there were two surf schools accredited by Surfing GB in Scarborough and we noted that the advertiser had ‘Academy’ level membership whereas Scarborough Surf School had ‘Recreational’ level membership. We therefore concluded that in that context the claim “Scarborough’s only Surfing GB accredited surf school academy” was not misleading.
We investigated the claim under BCAP Code rules 3.1 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising) and 3.9 3.9 Broadcasters must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that the audience is 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), but did not find it in breach.
No further action required.