A rose by any other name? – it was a flower and garden expo‚ ASA rules

04 May 2018 - 07:00 By Nico Gous
Image: Thinkstock

Oops-a-daisy! That was pretty much the Advertising Standards Authority’s reaction after nipping in the bud Fanie Vos’ complaint about the Flower and Garden Expo at this year’s Rand Show in Johannesburg.

That was pretty much the Advertising Standards Authority’s reaction after nipping in the bud Fanie Vos’ complaint about the Flower and Garden Expo at this year’s Rand Show in Johannesburg.

“While the expo does not appear to be of the quality of some other garden expos‚ locally and internationally‚ there was nonetheless an expo‚ with various exhibitors‚” the ASA ruled.

Vos believes he was led up the garden path by the Rand Show’s allegedly misleading advertisement.

It read: “Enjoy a beautiful escape at the Rand Show’s new Flower & Garden Expo. A dedicated space for garden lovers‚ the Flower & Garden Expo brings the latest in garden design‚ outdoor furniture and accessories together in curated display. Visitors can take in the beautiful show gardens whilst enjoy a sumptuous spread of delectable treats….”

Vos believed the expo would come up smelling of roses‚ but all he could find were a “few small flowers” and 10 exhibitors in the 1‚000 square metre space demarcated for the expo. He added that the Rand Show should not advertise events that “do not exist”.

The Rand Show submitted photographs to show there were more than 10 exhibitors. They added that the expo was a new attraction that was still at grassroots level as it had only been introduced this year. They want to grow the expo over the new few years before it becomes a stand-alone event.

The ASA said it expected the Rand Show to provide evidence of what was advertised‚ but it did not beat around the bush.

“However‚ the respondent (The Rand Show) did not even refute the complainant’s (Vos) allegations‚ except to indicate that all terms and conditions were met for the exhibition and it seems it did not match the complainant’s expectation and offered an apology.”

The ASA said it cannot rule on visitors’ subjective experiences. “One person’s beautiful rock may be another’s disappointing piece of plastic; one person’s fog another’s sad smoke machine.”

The ASA concluded: “From the material before the Directorate‚ it is therefore apparent that there was a ‘Flower and Garden Expo’ in 2018.”

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