KBB companies hit by ASA ad bans

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned advertisements by several leading kitchen and bathroom retailers, including Better Bathrooms, Wickes and Wren.

According to the ASA, four email ads, two website ads and two television ads from Better Bathrooms were misleading due to several ads stating ‘Up to 70% off’ products when only a few products were discounted by that amount. In addition, Better Bathrooms extended a sale into February 2017 after advertising that the ‘Sale must end on the 31st January’.

The ASA told Better Bathrooms that when making money off claims, they should “ensure that a significant proportion of sale items were discounted by the stated percentage and that such claims represented the true overall picture of the sale”. The authority also told the company that it must not extend the closing dates of promotions unless “unavoidable circumstances beyond their control made it necessary”.

An online kitchen advertisement from Wickes, that stated ‘50% off kitchen units’, was reported to the ASA by a complainant who questioned whether the savings claim was misleading and could be substantiated. The ASA ruled that the higher prices quoted for the kitchen units were “not the usual selling prices at the time the ad appeared”, and therefore ruled the ad was misleading.

The ASA also ruled that a radio advertisement, played on 20th February, from Wren was misleading. The Ad message included: ‘Right now, in Wren Kitchens’ winter sale, kitchens are half-price plus an extra 25% off – and there’s 10% off sinks and taps. Hurry, offer ends tonight, 10pm’.

The ASA ruling followed a complaint that the offer end date was misleading as later advertisements stated the winter sale as ending on the 1st March. Wren said that the ‘offer ends tonight’ part of the radio ad related only to the 10% off sinks and taps promotion, but the ASA ruled that this was not clear to consumers and that the ad was therefore misleading.