The website www.espaskincare.com, for skincare company ESPA, seen on 15 May 2021, included the claim “Save 20% when you use code TREAT20. Plus receive a complimentary Positivity Gift when you spend £70”.
The complainant, who understood that only one promotional offer, either 20% off or a complimentary gift, could be used per order, challenged that the ad was misleading.
The Hut.com Ltd t/a ESPA said that in order to qualify for the free gift, consumers were required to spend a minimum of £70 after the 20% discount had been applied to their order. They acknowledged that the ad could have made that requirement clearer.
In the absence of qualifying information, the ASA considered consumers were likely to understand the claim “Save 20% when you use code TREAT20. Plus receive a complimentary Positivity Gift when you spend £70” to mean that they would receive 20% off any order if they used the code “TREAT20” and that, if that order was at least £70, they would also receive a free Positivity Gift.
We understood that when the complainant did not receive the free gift, they contacted ESPA and was told that only one promotion offer, either 20% off or a complimentary gift, could be used per order. However, we understood from ESPA that the free gift should have applied alongside the discount, as long as the order was at least £70, after the discount had applied. We considered that was a significant condition of the offer.
We considered that the ad did not make sufficiently clear that receipt of the free gift was conditional upon consumers spending the minimum amount after the discount code had been applied, rather than before. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading.
The ad breached the CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.9 (Qualification), 8.17 and 8.17.1 (Significant conditions for promotions).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told The Hut.com Ltd t/a ESPA that future promotions offering free gifts must make all significant conditions of the promotions sufficiently clear.