The marketing material may have been 100% accurate and non-misleading, but this retail promotion still fell foul of the ASA.
Topic: Promotion marketing
Who: Safeway and The Advertising Standards Authority
When: February 2003
The Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint over Safeway promotional literature offering a special discount off the price of sets of French boules. The adverse decision was reached not because the literature itself was misleading, but because a punter who visited his local Safeway to try and take advantage of the offer was turned away by shop staff who said that they were unaware that such an offer was being run.
Why this matters:
The case underlines the need for promotion marketers to ensure that the "back end" of promotions is handled with as much thoroughness as the front. This can be challenging where national retail chains may operate local promotions. However, this ASA decision shows that there will be no quarter given if a member of shop staff at the check-out is unaware of a promotion, or there has been understandable confusion as to the particular locality in which the promotion applies.
The emphasis must therefore be on ensuring that retail staff are kept fully informed of all relevant promotions being run, and that promotion terms and conditions and back up technology, such as bar codes, are deployed in such a way as to minimise the risk of these embarrassing instances occurring.
Our thanks to Promotions and Incentives magazine for the piece which inspired this report.