Misleading Advertising. How can they get away with this?
Sunday morning just glancing through newspapers whilst waiting for family members to remove their hangovers and play Wi games. Different family members I must add.
Sunday Times, travel section 3/2/2013. Page 9. Just read it and wait to get excited. Surrey is a grey kingdom today, damp and uninspiring. But hope is on the horizon. In the remainder of the travel section the theme is reductions in certain holidays due to low demand. For example 7 night cruises on great cruise lines ( not Costa for example) for as little as 599£.
So wandering in front of my eyes I see an advertisement that clearly states. Atlantis. From only 199£ per person, 3 nights including half board and flights. Plus 6 other enticing either pleasant or free things to look forward to. Ridiculously cheap, yes. Unbelievable, yes. Both actually correct. Because in far more wordage in some minuscule font at the bottom to which we are directed by an asterisk, there are some more details to consider. Firstly the minor detail that this price is actually per person per night. Secondly this pricing is only for July. Thirdly various other caveats apply such as for some strange reason a flight supplement charged only for 12-16 year olds. Might this relate to the fact that they ” eat and play for free”.
To me this advert is misleading and although I have never done this before I am going to make a formal complaint to ASA.
Why am I so concerned? I work in the Pharmaceutical industry and our advertising is complex, well vetted and there are clear guidelines laid down by ABPI as to how and what claims can be made. But this kind of advert would not be allowed. It is very misleading and to the casual eye would seem impossibly cheap I agree, but some things are these days, and secondly the asterisk does require decent eyesight to read the three lines of blurb and conditions.
Lastly,I am surprised that the Sunday Times does not vet its own adverts more carefully. They have a duty to their readers. End of rant.