Topic: Promotion marketing
Who: Supercar Lifestyle Ltd
When: June 2013
Where: Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”), UK
Law stated as at: 9 July 2013
The Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) investigated a complaint
about a misleading prize promotion.
An email was sent out to entrants into a competition in the November 2012 edition of Evo magazine.
It stated “Congratulations [name] you have won one of our runner up prizes! A FREE TUITION SESSION WITH EX F1 DRIVER IAN ASHLEY AND THE TEAM. As a runner up you will be coached on how to drive like a professional racing driver”. Text continued “The session will run from MIRA’s secret Test facility in Numeaton…To claim your exclusive tuition session please contact our booking team on [phone number] or simply fill in our contract form by selecting the link below… We look forward to seeing you in 2013″
On claiming the prize, the email recipient was informed that he had to pay an insurance premium of £199 in order to receive it. This was not stated in the terms and conditions.
Two issues were raised.
1. Whether the runner-up prize was genuine as opposed to the prize having been offered to all remaining entrants.
2. Whether the promotion was misleading by not stating in the terms and conditions that payment was required in order to claim the prize.
What Supercar Lifestyle had to say
1. Supercar Lifestyle said they had named the first prize winner, who had booked tuition for June 2013. Clients who attended the event gave excellent feedbacks and they could provide testimonials.
2. They pointed out the e-mail had stated that terms and conditions applied and that the competition was subject to liability and registration. They said that whilst the tuition was free of charge, the insurance payment of £199 covered damage to vehicles, damage to the circuit and personal injury whilst the client was in control of the car.
What the ASA had to say
1. Runner up prize offered was not a genuine prize-upheld
The ASA found that Supercar Lifestyle decided to run a second competition of which Dennis Publishing Ltd (publishers of Evo magazine) was unaware. The e-mail under investigation corresponded to the second competition and it had been sent to all entrants of the original competition by Supercar Lifestyle without Dennis Publishing Ltd’s knowledge. No runner-up prize had been agreed in the original competition either.
The e-mail stated “Congratulations [name] you have won one of our runner up prizes!”. However, no documentation showed how the runners up had been selected. No documentation was found to ensure that the prize offered in the e-mail was a genuine competition prize.
On that basis, the ASA concluded that the prize was not a genuine prize and the ad was misleading.
2. Ad was misleading-upheld
The ASA acknowledged that the £199 insurance payment would cover what the Supercar Lifestyle claimed it would cover.
The payment, being a significant condition of the promotion, should have been mentioned clearly in the e-mail. However that information was not included in the email and the ASA concluded that the promotion was misleading
The ASA reminded Supercar Lifestyle of their responsibility to offer genuine prizes for competitions, and to state clearly all significant conditions of the offer.
Why this matters
It is important to flag up any significant conditions of a
promotion at an early stage and to only offer prizes as part of a genuine prize promotion with clear terms and conditions.
More info at:
Jisue Glinnis Lee
Work experience student