19 May 2024, 21:28
By Furniture News Dec 15, 2022

ASA upholds complaint against online bed retailer

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint made regarding a page on etailer Happy Beds' website seen in August 2022. 

The ad listed a child’s bed frame, and featured text that stated, “Milo Grey Wooden Mid Sleeper Kids Bed Frame – 3ft Single £845.98 NOW £469.99 Save £376”, says the ASA.

The complainant, who understood that the bed had not been sold at the original higher price, challenged whether the savings claim could be substantiated.

Happy Beds explained that the higher price was the RRP provided by the supplier or manufacturer, and said it was an online retailer only, and therefore the RRPs were not set by it. Happy Beds supplied a number of links to other retailers with a similar RRP, and said the links confirmed that the 'before' price was set by the manufacturer, and not Happy Beds.

The etailer also provided two anonymised receipts showing the product had been sold for £845.98 in February 2022 and May 2022.

The ASA responds: "Price comparisons must not mislead by falsely claiming a price advantage. Comparisons with recommended retail prices (RRPs) are likely to mislead if the RRP differs significantly from the price at which the product or service is generally sold.

"The ASA considered the evidence provided by Happy Beds that other retailers were displaying a similar RRP to the one that Happy Beds had on their listing. While there was some small variation in the RRP between retailers, we acknowledged that in general the £845.98 price reflected the higher price on the other websites and was likely to be the RRP set by the manufacturer. Nevertheless, we noted that the price was discounted in all cases and none of the retailers were advertising the product for sale at the RRP.

"Further to that, we acknowledged that Happy Beds had provided two examples where the product had been sold by them at the RRP in 2022. However, to support savings claims against an RRP, we required evidence to show that £845.98 was the price at which the product was generally sold across a number of retailers.

"The listing had made an explicit comparison with the RRP, stating that a consumer would save £376 on the RRP. However, because we had not seen sufficient evidence that the product had been generally sold at that price, we concluded that the ad was misleading."

The ASA says the ad must not appear again in the form complained of, and that Happy Beds has been informed that future price comparisons in ads should not mislead by falsely claiming a price advantage: "Savings against RRPs should only be displayed if it can be evidenced that the product had been generally sold at that price."

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