Boxed mattress brand Simba Sleep has been told to ensure savings claims on adverts are not misleading after seeing one of its ads investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
A product listing on the Simba website, www.simbasleep.com, seen on 5 January 2022, for the “Simba Hybrid Mattress” had text “£919” crossed out, and “£588.16” written next to it. “NEW CUSTOMER PRICE” was stated next to the listed prices, while text in a banner stated “New Customers! 36% off £300+ (T&Cs)”. A countdown clock was seen next to this text.
Rival brand Emma Mattress challenged whether the crossed-out price and associated savings claim were misleading.
In response, Simba Sleep said that the price comparison featured in the ad was not against a previous price and understood that the ad was compliant with the CAP Code when it was live. They also did not believe that any CAP Advertising Guidance relating to new customer offers existed at the time of the promotion.
Simba said that the promotional price was available only to new customers and that condition was stated clearly and accurately in the ad. Furthermore, they confirmed that during the seven-day period between 4 and 10 January 2022, the mattress was sold at £919 to those customers who were not eligible for the new customer promotion. They likened the “new customer” offer to discounts that were offered to NHS staff or students because the two different prices applied to two different categories of consumer and the ad compared an existing customer price with a new customer price.
Following an investigation, the ASA acknowledged Simba’s response but concluded that the savings claims, countdown clock and lack of pricing history for the product didn’t provide enough evidence that the savings claim represented a genuine saving against the usual selling price of the product, and concluded that the savings claims in the ads were misleading.
“We told Simba Sleep Ltd to ensure their future savings claims did not mislead and to ensure they substantiated savings claims against the usual selling price of their products,” the ASA ruled.