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Homebase ad banned by watchdog

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Home & DIY retailer Homebase has been warned by the Advertising Standards Authority that its current adverts giving details of discounts offers must be changed to their “misleading” nature, it has been announced.

An advert which appeared on TV, radio and online stated that customers could claim 15 per cent off everything when spending £50, “n top of our other great offers”, though a complainant noted that such promotions were not allowed on top of ‘national discount days’ which was not made clear either in the ads or on accompanying vouchers.

Homebase pointed out that the radio ad specifically stated that “exclusions apply” and said that its TV and radio ads complied with regulations, though the retailer did concede that its website ad will need to be changed.

A statement from the ASA said: “Homebase acknowledged, however, that the website ad, which did not have the constraints of space and time inherent in broadcast ads, could have made the exclusion to the national discount day offer clear, and they offered to make that amendment in future.”

Last month, the retailer announced a total sales decline of 3.9 per cent to £366 million over its second quarter while like-for-likes fell 3.7 per cent due to the ongoing fragility of the homewares market, which is forcing key players to offer significant discounts and promotions at the expense of their margins.

In its assessment of Homebase’s case, the ASA upheld the complaint and explained that the discount offer needed further clarification.

The industry watchdog’s ruling said: “We concluded the ads were misleading, because the overall impression of each of the ads was that the national discount day offer could be used in conjunction with all other Homebase offers, when that was not in fact the case.

“We also concluded the statement “Exclusions apply” in the radio ad contradicted, rather than clarified, that impression.

“The ads must not appear again in their current form.”

Published on Monday 15 October by Editorial Assistant

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