Sofa retail chain DFS has been told an advert that ran on its website and over TV must not be broadcast after two complaints were upheld finding that ‘savings claims’ were misleading.
DFS ran a TV advert on 25 December 2015 stating that its Nest corner sofa was ‘just £1,395’ during its winter sale, with the price going up to £2,995 after the event ending on 6 January 2016.
DFS also claimed that a sofa product on its website, seen on 27 December 2015, would save £100 on a four seater Lounger at ‘Sale price of £799, after sale price £899’ ending on 23 February 2016.
However, two complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), who investigated challenges against the savings claims.
Responding to the complaint, DFS believed that its promotional offer complied with the BIS Pricing Practices Guide (PPG) and the BCAP Code from Clearcast, as well as providing its own consumer research, which DFS ‘believed showed’ the understanding of the savings claims.
Although acknowledging that consumers would be able to work out the savings from the advertised prices, the ASA indicated that it was ‘unclear’ if the saving was greater on the price charged before the sale. The ASA said that it ‘saw no evidence to establish whether the sale prices were a reduction on the prices at which the sofas were formerly sold and therefore represented a current genuine saving’, concluding that both ads were misleading to the consumer.
A statement from the ASA ruled: “The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told DFS Trading Ltd to ensure that they held evidence to show that their savings claims were genuine.”