A website for Sparkle Homes, http://sparklehomes.bigcartel.com, seen in April 2017, included a product page for a ‘California Storage Bed Double’ which depicted a double bed with a slatted wooden base lifted up to reveal a storage space underneath.
The complainant, who bought the product and received a divan bed unlike the one depicted, challenged whether the ad was misleading.
Sparkle Homes said that the complainant had been sent a different bed, which had slats covered in mesh, in error. They said that the product received was more expensive than the one ordered. They said they had offered the complainant an exchange or refund after being informed of the problem.
The ASA noted that the ad depicted a double bed with feet and a slatted base that lifted up to reveal storage space underneath. We understood that the complainant had received a bed without feet and which did not lift up or include storage space. The complainant provided photos which showed that the base was solid with material stapled over it. We considered that the bed received by the complainant was significantly different from the product shown in the ad.
We noted Sparkle Homes’ assertion that the wrong product had been sent in error. However, we had not seen evidence to demonstrate that they had the item depicted in stock at the time the ad was seen. 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 3.7 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).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Sparkle Homes to ensure they held evidence to demonstrate that the products listed on their website were representative of the products that consumers would receive.