Electricals retailer PC World has today been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over an online advert it ran over Christmas & New Year.
The promotional ad offered customers the opportunity to “save a total of £130.02” on the Nikon Coolpix S8000 Compact Digital Camera by clicking on a link, but a disgruntled customer complained to the ASA that each time they tried to take advantage of the promotion it was unavailable.
Instead the link directed them to a second page which informed them that the product was unavailable and recommended an alternative camera.
Dixons Retail, the owner of PC World, claimed that during January, when the complaint was made, there was limited stock due to the Christmas rush, however the ASA ruled that this should have been clearer on the ad.
A statement from the ASA read: “We noted CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 3.29 stated that marketers must monitor stock and if a product becomes unavailable, whenever possible, they should withdraw or amend ads for the product.
“Although clicking on the ad took the consumer to a webpage that stated the product was not available, we considered that this information should have been more prominently displayed on the ad itself if PC World could demonstrate that stock available for online sale was likely to be replenished imminently.
“However, in the absence of confirmation that additional stock had been sourced and was likely to be made available for sale via the website, we considered that the ad should have been removed until additional stock was secured.”
Due to breaching rules in the CAP code relating to misleading advertising and availability, PC World has been banned for replicated the ad in its current state.
In its last financial year ending April 30th, Dixons posted profits of over £85 million despite the tough trading conditions current within the electricals market and the company undertaking a significant transformation plan.