A TV ad for Wren Kitchens seen on 12 January 2018 featured scenes showing customers at a store, parts being dispatched from a warehouse and delivered to a house. Towards the end was a scene showing a newly installed kitchen and a Wren Kitchens member of staff with a screwdriver.
The ad featured a voice-over that stated, “At Wren our heart and soul goes into your kitchen. And because we design, make, deliver and install you pay the right price.”
Three complainants, who understood that the kitchen fitting service was subcontracted to a third party, challenged whether the claim “And because we design, make, deliver and install you pay the right price” was misleading and could be substantiated.
Wren Kitchens said that they used sub-contractors to deliver their installation service and that they had a bank of approved “Wren” installers. Furthermore, the installers were members of a government sanctioned and non-for-profit registered organisation, dedicated to improving standards within the industry, whereby the cost of their accreditation was paid by Wren Kitchens.
Wren Kitchens said they charged consumers for the installation and were responsible to consumers for ensuring that the kitchen was installed to the highest standard. They said that they informed all consumers what was and was not included in their installation service at several points during the order process, including in two separate guides.
Wren Kitchens said that at the pre-order stage, consumers who were interested in their installation service were provided with a copy of their installation charter. They believed that the extent of the installation service was clearly stated in the charter.
Wren Kitchens said that there were some occasions when a consumer wanted the installer to undertake additional work over and above their installation service. That additional work could include plastering, tiling and/or installing an appliance which the consumer acquired from another supplier. Wren Kitchens said that they were content for consumers to use their approved installers to undertake such additional work, but that was on the basis that consumers and the installer entered into a separate agreement in relation to that work. In such cases, the consumer would be charged by the installer directly for that work and the installer would be responsible to the consumer in relation to any issues with that work. Wren Kitchens confirmed, however, that where they received a complaint concerning work done within the scope of a consumer’s contract with them, Wren Kitchens were responsible for resolving that issue and did so in all instances.
Clearcast said that after they reviewed the preproduction scripts, they requested that Wren Kitchens substantiated the claim that they “deliver[ed] and install[ed]” their kitchens. Wren Kitchens responded and provided them with the assurance, “We always make them, we always deliver them and we always offer to install them but some customers choose to install themselves or find their own installer”.
Clearcast said that they were not informed that Wren Kitchens used third party installers and based on the information Wren Kitchens had supplied them with, they had no concern with the claim that would have required a qualification.
The ASA considered that consumers would interpret the claim “we design, make, deliver and install”, to mean that Wren Kitchens manufactured, delivered and installed their kitchens. Therefore, upon purchasing a kitchen, consumers would expect that Wren Kitchens would offer their own installation service.
We noted that the complainants considered that the claim was misleading because Wren Kitchens sub-contracted their installation service. However, we considered most consumers would understand that companies engaged in subcontracting as part of delivering their services, and considered it was unlikely to be misleading for Wren Kitchens to make claims about their service based on the activities of subcontractors so long as that outsourcing did not result in a difference in service that would render the advertising claims misleading when compared with services being offered in-house.
In addition we understood that when a consumer used Wren Kitchens’ installation service they only contracted directly with Wren Kitchens and not with the sub-contractor. Additionally, when consumers had a complaint about that work, it was Wren Kitchens who resolved it directly.
While we understood that there were some circumstances where consumers might ask that same contractor to do additional work outside their agreement with Wren Kitchens, that would by its nature be contracted and paid for directly between the contractor and the customer and we considered that consumers would understand that such work would fall outside their arrangement with Wren Kitchens.
While we acknowledged that Wren Kitchens used sub-contractors to install their kitchens, because customers contracted directly with Wren Kitchens rather than the sub-contractor, meaning that Wren maintained responsibility and oversight of the installation process, we concluded that the claim “And because we … install” was unlikely to mislead consumers.
We investigated the ad under BCAP Code rules
The standards objectives, insofar as they relate to advertising, include:
a) that persons under the age of 18 are protected;
b) that material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or lead to disorder is not included in television and radio services;
c) that the proper degree of responsibility is exercised with respect to the content of programmes which are religious programmes;
d) that generally accepted standards are applied to the contents of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from inclusion in such services of offensive and harmful material;
e) that the inclusion of advertising which may be misleading, harmful or offensive in television and radio services is prevented;
f) that the international obligations of the United Kingdom with respect to advertising included in television and radio services are complied with [in particular in respect of television those obligations set out in Articles 3b, 3e,10, 14, 15, 19, 20 and 22 of Directive 89/552/EEC (the Audi Visual Media Services Directive)];
g) that there is no use of techniques which exploit the possibility of conveying a message to viewers or listeners, or of otherwise influencing their minds, without their being aware, or fully aware, of what has occurred"
Section 3.9 3.9 Broadcasters must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that the audience is 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. 2). (Misleading advertising), and 3.9 3.9 Broadcasters must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that the audience is 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 3.10 3.10 Advertisements must state significant limitations and qualifications. Qualifications may clarify but must not contradict the claims that they qualify. (Qualification), but did not find it in breach.
No further action required.