Summary of Council decision:
Two issues were investigated, both of which were Upheld.
A teleshopping presentation for a perfume included on-screen text which stated "Chopard Cascade 50ml EDP Spray". The presenter stated, "This is their brand spanking new perfume, it's only just been launched and if my memory serves me correct I think it was about 16 or 18 weeks ago in Harrods and as far as we are aware this is only sold in Harrods ... God knows how we've got it but we have, we've got our hand on it".
The complainant challenged whether the ad misleadingly implied that:
1. the only other retailer selling the product was Harrods; and
2. the product had recently been launched.
sit-up Ltd t/a Bid TV (sit-up) stated that their buyer believed the sheer volume of fragrances running through the business at this time of year had resulted in an error being made in relation to the original date of release of the perfume and its availability at other outlets. They said that at the time of release the perfume was only available at Harrods but accepted that it had actually been launched in 2009 and that it was now more widely available. They said that the presentation had been modified and that the relevant information would be passed on to other hosts.
The ASA welcomed the changes that had been made to prevent similar claims in future presentations. We considered that consumers would understand the claims in the presentation to mean that the perfume had been launched in 2012 and, other than through Bid TV, the product was only available at Harrods. Because this was not the case, we concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached BCAP Code rules 3.1 3.1 Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising), 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) and 3.32 3.32 Advertisements must not mislead consumers about market conditions or the possibility of finding the product or service elsewhere to induce consumers to buy the product or service at conditions less favourable than normal market conditions. (Availability).
The ad should not appear again in its current form. We told sit-up Ltd not to make availability claims without holding robust evidence.