The website for MyProtein www.myprotein.com, a sports nutrition retailer, seen on 7 December 2022:
a. The home page featured a banner with text “BUY MORE, SAVE MORE 45% OFF £65, 40% OFF £30, 35% NO MIN SPEND” alongside images of Protein Pancake Mix, Impact Whey Protein and a Layered Protein Gingerbread bar.
b. A product webpage for “Hotel Chocolat Layered Protein Bar” featured the same banner. Further down the page, next to the payment option for the product, the same text appeared, alongside which further text stated, “Discount auto applies at basket”.
The complainant, who understood that the promotion did not apply to some products, including the Hotel Chocolat layered protein bar, challenged whether the ads were misleading.
THG Nutrition Ltd said their internal advertising safeguards had ensured the ad was proactively reviewed shortly after it was published, and that they had amended it soon after publication. They said they recognised that the ad had not made it sufficiently clear to consumers that the promotion only applied to selected products. They said the banner that featured on the webpage for the Hotel Chocolat layered protein bar was also removed at the same time.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand the home page featuring banner ad (a) “BUY MORE, SAVE MORE 45% OFF £65, 40% OFF £30, 35% NO MIN SPEND” to mean that if they spent £65 or over they would save 45%; if they spent between £30 and £64.99 they would save 40%; and if they spent up to £29.99 they would save 35%, and that the relevant discount would be applied to their total spend. We considered that, in the absence of any qualifying information, consumers would expect the promotional discount to apply to all products across the website as a whole.
However, we understood that not all products on the website were included in the promotion. We considered that the exclusion of some products was material information concerning the promotion, and the omission of that information was likely to mislead consumers.
We noted that the claim had been included in two places on ad (b), the product webpage. We considered that the use of the claim on that page would be understood by consumers to mean that the product listed was explicitly included in the promotion. We also noted the use of the text “Discount auto applies at basket” along with the promotional claim and considered that this text reinforced the impression that the Hotel Chocolat layered protein bar was included in the promotion. However, we understood that the product was in fact not included in the promotion. For those reasons, we considered the use of the claim in ad (b) was misleading.
We therefore concluded that both ads breached the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (substantiation) 3.17 (Prices), and 8.17 and 8.17.1 (Significant conditions for promotions).
The ads must not appear again in the form complained of. We told THG Nutrition Ltd to ensure all significant information relating to promotions was displayed prominently and not to imply particular products were included in the promotion if that was not the case.