Claims on UK Cycle Centre's website www.ukcyclecentre.co.uk, seen on 9 March 2016, stated "Titus El-Guapo 29er Full Suspension - Cane Creek DB Rear Shock - 16" Frame" SALE! £399.99". Text stating "£999.99" was struck through.
The complainant challenged whether the savings claims were misleading and could be substantiated.
UK Cycle Centre Ltd said the quoted higher price was the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) for the frame and not their previous selling price. They explained that the RRP was based on a price stated on a competitor website that no longer sold the product.
The ASA considered that consumers would understand the claim £999.99, which was crossed through, to be the price at which the UK Cycle Centre had most recently sold the frame and that the savings claim represented a genuine saving against UK Cycle Centre’s usual selling price. However, we understood that they had not sold the frame before and the quoted higher price was intended to represent the RRP for the product. We considered that without any qualification this was unclear. We considered that, because the ad gave the impression that the price reduction was based on the advertiser's former selling price, which was not the case, the savings claims was likely to mislead consumers. Notwithstanding that point, we also considered that a single screenshot of the frame being offered for £999.99, from a company that no longer sold the product, was insufficient to substantiate an RRP claim.
Because we saw no evidence to show that the advertised reduction represented a genuine saving, we 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), 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) and 3.17 3.17 Price statements must not mislead by omission, undue emphasis or distortion. They must relate to the product featured in the marketing communication. (Prices).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told UK Cycle Centre Ltd to ensure that the basis for their savings claims were made clear in future and that they held adequate evidence to support such claims.