The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a ruling to ban a television and website advertisement by VictoriaPlum.com that stated the online retailer's prices were “40% lower than Bathstore”.
According to ASA, Bathstore challenged whether the claims by VictoriaPlum.com in its advertisements from September last year – were “misleading and could be substantiated”. In response to the challenge, VictoriaPlum.com “said they had engaged an independent third-party company to match products on Victoria Plum’s and Bathstore’s websites and which was completed autonomously, without influence by Victoria Plum”.
The company also stated it checked Bathstore's prices “twice daily” to ensure a minimum of 10% of all matched products exceeded the 40% discount. According to the company, 176 of its products were matched with products from Bathstore, with 67-83 products cheaper by at least 40%.
“The number of products that were up to 40% cheaper fluctuated during the time the ads appeared due to Bathstore changing their own prices,” the ruling by ASA states. “Therefore, comparable stock was a relatively low proportion of their overall stock, but they [VictoriaPlum.com] believed the adverts made that clear.
“Because Victoria Plum’s ads suggested a significant proportion of their products were lower in price than comparable products from Bathstore, which was not the case, we concluded the claims were misleading and had not been substantiated,” the ASA said.
View the latest bathroom products sales jobs>>
The ruling marks the third by ASA regarding VictoriaPlum.com since March this year, when the authority banned three adverts by the retailer that had been challenged by consumers and its competitor Victorian Plumbing. In April, the ASA banned another VictoriaPlum.com advert after Victorian Plumbing challenged it.