Advertising watchdog lashes The Gadget Shop over misleading e-mail

24 April 2018 - 15:29 By Nico Gous
Image: 123rf/ punkbarby

The Gadget Shop has been ordered to withdraw a misleading e-mail advertisement.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) also ruled they may not use it again.

Pieter van Zyl complained about an e-mail advertisement The Gadget Shop sent out for a 30% off promotion.

The e-mail reads: “Take advantage of March Madness at The Gadget Shop. Get 30% off everything for a limited time only.”

It lists various items with the words “SHOP NOW” next to them.

Further down‚ the e-mail says: “The Gadget Shop SALE 30% off EVERYTHING* SHOP NOW *Excludes selected products and promotional items.”

Van Zyl said not everything was marked down and the disclaimer that it excludes certain items only appears on the third page.

“There was no asterisk next to the wording ‘everything’ in the text‚” he comlpained.

The Gadget Shop argued all the marketing and promotional items were on one page.

“The Complainant (Van Zyl) does not have to click three or four times before he sees the stipulated terms and conditions of the promotion. One just has to scroll from top to bottom of the e-mail‚” the company said.

It added there is an asterisk next to the word “everything” in “30% off everything”.

“The movable image clearly shows in the first frame that selected products and promotional items are excluded in this promotion.”

The ASA ruled a reasonable person would be misled by the e-mail advertisement.

“Its first appearance is at the beginning of the email. It reads ‘Get 30% off everything for a limited time only’. There is no asterisk‚ and there is no disclaimer‚” the ASA ruled.

“Below this is a long email‚ which a consumer would need to scroll down‚ setting out the various products on offer‚ with links to ‘shop now’. Only at the very end does the claim appear again‚ asterisked and disclaimed.”

The ASA added the word “everything” is not open to interpretation.

“It does not mean ‘some things’ or ‘most things’. It means everything. A consumer would not expect it to mean anything different.”