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Discount Offers Should Be Treated With Caution

Discounted prices seem to be everywhere these days, but recent decisions of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) show that sales promotions need to be treated with caution.

A series of decisions recently saw shirt seller TM Lewin & Sons Limited and Virgin Media Limited hauled over the coals for misleading discount offers.

TM Lewin was found to have offered discounts based on claims of selling the goods at higher prices which were 'misleading and unsubstantiated'.

A Virgin Media 'half-price' offer was found to be misleading as it would only apply to part, not to the whole, of the service offered. The front page of the sales literature did not make it clear that the offer did not include a half-price offer on line rental, which the ASA considered so significant that it should have been made clear.

The competitiveness of the telecommunications sector is underlined by the fact that further complaints were brought against Virgin, TalkTalk and Three.

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