An ad for a set of four Tefal kitchen pans, seen 16 March 2019 on www.wowcher.co.uk, stated “4pc Tefal Pan Set” and “£29.99 instead of £89.99 (from Elite Housewares) for a four-piece Tefal pan set - save 67%”.
The ad featured four images: three showed the same pan set and the fourth showed a set with slightly different pan and pot handles.
IssueThe complainant, who received a different product to the one they understood they had purchased, challenged whether the images and accompanying savings claims were misleading and could be substantiated.
Wowcher Ltd said they had a contract in place with the supplier of the kitchen pans Elite Housewares, under which Elite Housewares agreed to provide customers who redeemed their Wowcher vouchers with a 4-piece Aluminium Jamie Oliver Tefal Pan set.
Wowcher said that they obtained pricing verification for this Jamie Oliver pan set, and they provided screenshots of the product’s price on the Argos website at the time of the deal going live and on 2 May 2019. Wowcher said that they contacted Elite Housewares after they became aware of the issue, who informed them that an alternative 4-piece Tefal pan set to that advertised had been provided to customers. Wowcher said that as a result the listing had been removed from their website.
Wowcher explained that they had a mystery shop system in place to verify that the items supplied were as advertised on their website, but they did not mystery shop all of their deals from Elite Housewares and the issue was not identified in this instance. They said they would mystery shop all Elite Housewares deals going forwards.
The ASA considered consumers would understand the claim “£29.99 instead of £89.99 (from Elite Housewares) for a four-piece Tefal pan set - save 67%” to mean that £89.99 was the genuine selling price at which the product that would be supplied was generally marketed and sold, and that consumers would therefore benefit from the stated saving. We understood the pan set supplied to consumers, including to the complainant, was the set featured in only one of the ad’s images and we noted that this pan set was priced at £39.99 when bought directly from the Elite Housewares website.
We understood that the pan set in the other three images was of a higher specification than that supplied to those who responded to the Wowcher ad, and that it was this item for which Wowcher had obtained pricing information from one other retailer. We noted that text within the ad stated “We’re offering you a four-piece Tefal pan set for just £29.99, saving you 67% off when compared with Argos’ price of £89.99 (correct as of 30.4.18)”. However, we considered the impression from the ad’s headline claims “£29.99 instead of £89.99 (from Elite Housewares) for a four-piece Tefal pan set - save 67%” and “NOW £29.99” with a crossed out £89.99, would be interpreted as references to the product’s selling price from retailers more generally. We considered the evidence provided was not adequate to show that the pan set was normally sold for £89.99. Because the product supplied was not the product consumers would understand was being advertised, and the savings claims had not been substantiated, we concluded the ad was misleading.The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.17 (Prices), 3.39 and 3.40 (Price comparisons).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Wowcher Ltd to ensure that they held sufficient evidence to substantiate savings claims made in their advertising.
We told them to ensure that images used in their advertising accurately depicted the product that would be supplied, and that the savings claims in their advertising related to the product that would be supplied.