Fitted furniture business savings promotion deemed as misleading

Fitted furniture business My Fitted Bedroom has been told to clarify future savings claims on promotions after one of its adverts has been deemed as misleading.

A promotion on its website, seen on 30 December 2022, stated text “HALF PRICE multi-buy CELEBRATIONS … We can offer a half price saving with our multi-buy promotion. Buy 5 or more units and the economies of scale in our manufacturing process means we can offer you the best value and price”, followed by a link to their fitted wardrobes product page. Smaller text under the offer stated “50% off multi-buy offer available when you buy 5 or more units…”.

A single complainant, who understood the offer had been available for a number of months, challenged whether the savings claims were misleading.

In response, We Fit Any Furniture Ltd said that the multi-buy promotion applied to all ranges, and was an ongoing programme, with no end date intended or shown. They said that they had not intended to imply that the offer was time limited.

They provided the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) with sales information relating to the previous 12 months, which they believed showed that the multi-buy promotion represented a genuine saving to prospective consumers. They also said that they considered it to be common for consumers to purchase fewer than five units when purchasing bedroom furniture.

Upon investigating the claim, the ASA said that the business did not provide a full pricing history for all eligible products, including the details of the number of sales made at the “half price” price, and the number of sales made at the regular, full price. The ASA was therefore unable to determine whether significant sales had been made at the higher price.

“In addition, we considered that multi-buy offers were typically made in circumstances where the offer incentivised consumers to buy more than they otherwise would, in order to obtain a lower cost per item, and achieve better overall value,” the ASA said.

“It was not clear there would be an incentive for consumers to purchase more units in this case because they were likely to have a set number of units in mind when planning a bedroom. The incentive to purchase more units, therefore, would be inherently impacted by other factors, such as the wider bedroom design, and space. As above, we did not have the full pricing history, so we were unable to infer from sales how likely it was that the offer provided an incentive to buy more units.

“In any case, because the ad was likely to be interpreted as offering a discount against the usual price of 5 units or more, which was not the case, it was likely to mislead. For those reasons, we concluded that the savings claims were misleading.

“We told We Fit Any Furniture Ltd to ensure that future savings claims did not mislead and to ensure they substantiated savings against the usual selling prices of their products. We also told them not to present promotions as time-limited if that was not the case.”

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