The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has chastised John Lewis for the second time in less than a year following a “misleading” advert for a free sound bar.
A complaint was issued to the ASA over a deal in which the retailer’s website offered a “free LG SH7 sound bar” with the purchase of an LG TV 55B6 for £1999, on February 15.
It was brought to the ASA’s attention that the TV was sold on its own for £1749, and the sound bar for £259. The complainant said that advertising the bundle with as including a “free” sound bar was deceptive.
The department store chain defended its advertisement, stating that in the month before the complaint was made, the TV was sold for £1749 with a discount supported by the manufacturer and had since increased to £1999.
Although John Lewis refuted accusations that it had inflated the price of the TV to cover the cost of the sound bar, the ASA noted the TV’s price was changed often since May last year, regularly being sold for £1749.
WWe therefore did not consider £1999 to be the usual selling price,” the ASA stated.
“Because consumers were likely to understand that the sound bar had been included with the TV without increasing the price of the product, and because that was not the case, we concluded that the claim that the soundbar was free was misleading.”
Last year’s Black Friday also landed the retailer in hot water, after a promotion for an Apple Watch breached advertising rules.
It removed the watch from sale after concerns it may not have had enough stock to meet demand for the day.