ASA Rules Ad Claim A Leno-Go

The email from Lenovo featured text which stated "You're in the know. Insiders get first access to email exclusive deals, product releases, and Lenovo news. Get 10% off any product".
Belgium Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment
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Who: The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Lenovo Technology (UK) Ltd

Where: United Kingdom

When: 28 February 2024

Law stated as at: 14 March 2024

What happened:

An email ad made in September 2023 by Lenovo have been deemed to be misleading by the ASA.

The email from Lenovo featured text which stated "You're in the know. Insiders get first access to email exclusive deals, product releases, and Lenovo news. Get 10% off any product". A coupon code and a link to the advertiser's website were also included in the email. The small print at the bottom of the email read "See the website for eCoupon terms and conditions. eCoupon does not apply to certain products and is non-stackable".

A consumer challenged whether the claim that they could "get 10% off any product" was misleading, given the exclusions set out in the small print. Lenovo acknowledged this complaint, but did not provide a substantive response to the ASA.

The ASA considered that consumers would interpret the claim "get 10% off any product" meant that all products on Lenovo's website were included in the promotion and would therefore be discounted by 10% by entering a coupon code. While the small print did indicate exclusions, it was considered that the information was presented in relatively small text at the very bottom of the email and had not been appropriately linked to the 10% off claim by using an asterisk. The ASA concluded that even if consumers had seen the small print, it was not sufficient to counter the general understanding of the ad that all products would be discounted when using the code.

The regulator concluded that the ad was misleading and upheld the complaint. Lenovo was told that the ad must not appear again in the form complained of.

Why this matters:

When organising similar promotions, advertisers should ensure that they do not state or imply that all products are included in an offer if some products are meant to be excluded.

It is an important point to remember that advertisers have a responsibility to provide a substantive response to the ASA's enquiries. The ASA was concerned by Lenovo's lack of response and perceived disregard for the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code), which was a breach of the CAP Code Rule 1.7 (Unreasonable Delay). Lenovo was reminded to respond in future.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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