Ad description

A promotional email from Wowcher advertising a refurbished computer, seen in November 2016, stated “Dell Optiplex 755 Core 2 Duo with 160GB HDD & 22” Monitor NOW £179…Save 82%...Was £1000”.


Two complainants challenged whether the savings claim was misleading and could be substantiated.


Wowcher Ltd supplied copies of invoices from customers who had purchased the product for £1000 (£833 plus VAT) direct from the supplier in August, September, October, November and December 2016. They also provided screenshots of the supplier’s website from September and October 2016 showing that the product had been listed at the price of £1000.


Not upheld

We considered consumers would interpret "£1000" crossed out alongside a price of £179 to mean that £1000 was a genuine selling price at which the product had previously been marketed and sold, and that they would therefore benefit from a saving. We considered that the invoices and screenshots supplied by Wowcher showed that the supplier had marketed and sold the product at the price of £1000 between August and October 2016, prior to Wowcher launching their offer. The invoices from December 2016 also demonstrated that customers had purchased the item for £1000 after the offer had finished. For those reasons, we concluded that Wowcher had substantiated the savings claim and that it was not misleading.

The ad was investigated under 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), but was not found in breach.


No further action required

CAP Code (Edition 12)

3.1     3.17     3.7    

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