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19/02/2020

Inside Lifestyle’s Dubai holiday promotion with Jack Fincham administered unfairly

Subject: Selling and marketing/Marketing and advertising regulation

Source: Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)

Inside Lifestyle, a bespoke travel experience company arranged a promotion to win a £15,000 holiday to Dubai, in ‘partnership’ with the TV personality Jack Fincham. The original closing date was to be 30 September 2019. The competition had been extended to 1 November 2019 due to the large number of applications – over 30,000. The winner had been contacted and had chosen dates. The extended date was shown across all their social media stories, with the full terms and conditions being shown on their website.

A complainant challenged whether the promotion had been administered fairly. He noted that neither Instagram post promoting the competition had included a closing date, that no terms and conditions were available and that no winner was announced.

The ASA accepted that a winner for the competition had been chosen and the prize of a holiday to Dubai had been awarded. However, both Instagram posts had stated that the winner of the holiday competition would be announced on 30 September 2019. The ad did not specifically state that this was the competition closing date but the ASA considered consumers would understand that, because the winner was due to be announced on 30 September, the closing date would not be later than that date.

The CAP Code stated that closing dates must not be changed unless unavoidable circumstances beyond the control of the promoter made it necessary, and either: not to change the date would be unfair to those who sought to participate within the original terms; or those who sought to participate within the original terms would not be disadvantaged by the change. The ASA considered that when setting the original closing date of 30 September, Inside Lifestyle and Jack Fincham should have taken into account that the nature of the prize, the promotion of the competition across all their social media outlets in association with a television celebrity and the announcement of the winner by a celebrity guest in Dubai, would have generated a high level of interest, which should have been foreseen. Therefore the change to the closing date arose from unavoidable circumstances beyond the advertiser’s control. The extension of the closing date meant that consumers who had entered by the original date would have reduced chances of winning because of the new entries that were received for a further month after that date and therefore the change disadvantaged those who sought to participate within the original terms of the competition.

The CAP Code also stated that all significant terms and conditions should be clearly included in the ad. The Instagram posts had given no information about any entry restrictions, how the winner would be selected, limitations on availability or any conditions attached to the use of the prize, including when the holiday could be booked by, or a closing date for the competition. The ads made no mention that terms and conditions applied or that they could be found on Inside Lifestyle’s website. For those reasons, the ASA concluded the promotion had not been administered fairly and had breached the CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 8.1 and 8.2 (Promotional Marketing) and 8.17 and 8.18 (Significant conditions for promotions).

 

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