ASOS advertisement found “misleading” by Advertising Standards Agency

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ONLINE fashion retailer ASOS has been found to have a misleading promo offer which was found to breach two Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code) by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).

The online brand sent out an email last July stating there would be a 20 per cent discount on “everything”, but some lines were excluded from the promo.

A complaint was raised as the claim “20% off everything” was misleading and inaccurate as there were exemptions to the offer.

An asterisk was placed after the claim which linked to a statement that read, “Selected marked products excluded from promo” but complainers have said it was not made clear enough.

People pointing at a computer screen - UK news
(Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash) The ASA had found that the advertisement had breached CAP codes

ASOS responded by saying the claim was legitimate as there was a clear indication that some items were exempt – 0.9 per cent of products on the site were not included.

The company claimed that the average consumer would understand that some products would not be included in the deal.

According to ASOS, the fact that less than one per cent of items were excluded was not significant nor would it deceive customers.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) decided that the company were in breach as “20% off everything” in the subject line and body on the email would be recognised as all products being included.

The ASA did recognise the existence of the asterisks beside the claim, but they decided it was not adequate to challenge the impression that all products would be included.

The ultimate decision made by the ASA found ASOS in breach of misleading advertising and qualification as they found customers would understand that all items would be reduced by 20 per cent.

ASA stated: “The ad breached CAP Code rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.9 (Qualification).”

The ASA added: “The ad must not appear in the form complained of. We told Asos.com Ltd to ensure that in future their ads did not state or imply that all their products were included in an offer, for example by referencing “everything”, if some products were excluded from the offer.”

Deadline News has approached ASOS for a comment.