Advertising: The Never Ending Story

Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) upholds complaint about “never-ending sale”

The ASA has upheld a complaint about an advertisement for a “retiree’s” clearance sale which did not have an end date.

The supposed “retiree” took out a regional press ad for Scarborough Racing Developments, stating “CLEARANCE SALE (RETIREMENT) Everything must go!”

The complainant – a reader of the regional paper – challenged the ad, contending that the claim was misleading and could not be substantiated. The reader said that the ad had appeared for more than a year and during that period, the advertiser had continued to buy stock.

The advertiser blamed the poor economic climate for the fact that his retirement process was taking longer and claimed he had to re-stock every-day consumables to help clear slow-moving items. He also said he had sought advice from his local trading standards authority (“TSA”) in connection with his advertisement and believed it was in line with their guidance.

The TSA informed the ASA that they did not consider it reasonable for the ad to still be appearing after 18 months.

Due to the sale continuing for longer than 6 to 12 months and the advertiser continuing to re-stock some items, the ASA ruled that the ad breached rules 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 16.8 (Availability of products) of the CAP Code.

The bottom line and the advice that I give to my clients, is that advertising sales without an end date, or claiming that you are about to cease trading when you are not, is likely to be an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008… Don’t do it, unless of coarse, it’s the truth!

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About GAD LLP’s Media Law Practice:

Gregory Abrams Davidson’s Media Department is experienced in acting for a variety of media, technology and entertainment companies, celebrities, sports personalities, investors and professionals involved in the sector.We cover many media-focused legal issues, including reputation management, privacy and defamation, Intellectual Property, Entertainment, I.T., telecommunications and E-Commerce, film, TV, music and publishing. We provide a reliable and efficient service, constantly striving to provide practical, commercial, cost-effective legal advice to achieve the right result for our clients in the shortest possible time.