Posted 5th June

ASA bans Wickes ad after Which? complains

5th June 2019 - 10:14am
kitchen, asa, advertising standards authority, wickes, which?, consumer group, multi-buy, advertisement, kbb, kbbdaily

The Advertising Standards Authority – ASA – has banned a Wickes advert after six complainants, including consumer group Which?, challenged whether the claim in the advertisement was misleading.

In August 2018, an advert for Wickes’ ‘Heritage Bone showroom kitchen’ was seen stating: “Price from £2,086.00. Price show includes multi-buy discounts (Price based on eight-unit example)” with text underneath stating: “Multi-buy 50% off showroom kitchen units when you buy five plus”.

Further text on the advertisement said: “Plus 10% off all kitchen products including installation. Ends 28th August”. A second advertisement stated the same claim but with a cut-off date of 12th September and text that said “Up to 50% off kitchen installation”.

The complainants challenged whether “Multi-buy 50% off showroom kitchen units when you buy five plus” was misleading. In response, Wickes said it believed it was “made clear throughout the ads that the 50% off offer was a multi-buy promotion”.

However, the ASA said that despite the multi-buy claim was referenced several times on Wickes’ site, it believed that “all of the other text and imagery made clear that what was being advertised was kitchens, as opposed to individual kitchen units”.

“In that context, we considered that consumers would understand that they would be able to make a genuine saving against the price they would otherwise have paid for a full kitchen,” the ASA said, adding that Wickes had “significantly increased the price of individual units on the day of the promotion”.

It said that the claimed saving was not genuine and told Wickes the advert must not appear again in the same form, as it breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.17 (Prices).

In response to the ruling, Which? home products and services head Natalie Hitchins said: “Our investigation exposed how a number of major kitchen and bathroom retailers were using potentially misleading tricks to make a sale.

“Today’s ruling indicates that this offer from Wickes should never have been run in the first place. If it, and other retailers, continue to play fast and loose with the rules, we urge Trading Standards and the ASA to intervene and send a clear message that these practices have to stop.”

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