ASA Adjudication on Broadway Travel Service (Wimbledon) Ltd
Broadway Travel Service (Wimbledon) Ltd
4 July 2012
Holidays and travel
Number of complaints:
A travel agent's website, www.broadwaytravel.com, was headed "£129 - Exclusive 4* Malta with FREE Upgrade to All Inclusive, Save 50%". Further text stated "Canifor Hotel Qawra. Number of Nights: 4 Nights. Board basis: All Inclusive. Departure Date: April-June, See below for details £129 pp". The ad included a list of dates and departure points under the headings "£129" and "£149". Further text stated "What's Included Flights, Taxes, Accommodation & FREE Upgrade to All Inclusive. Additional Charges - Baggage & PRIVATE TRANSFERS available from £8 each way. Based on 2 Sharing. Book by - ASAP Limited Availability. Prices are from and subject to availability".
The complainant, who was unable to purchase the holiday for the advertised price, challenged whether the ad was misleading.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Broadway Travel Service (Wimbledon) Ltd (Broadway Travel) said they were not able to provide exact figures for customers who booked the holiday for £129. They said the deal in this case had been e-mailed out to a database of customers who had opted in to their newsletter, and so it was likely that no one purchased the holiday for that price. They said they advised their staff what the deal was based on, but that it was subject to change and availability as stated in the ad. They said many of their customers would ring after seeing the sorts of prices they offered, but then book something more suited to their needs. They said that before advertising a deal they made sure there was plenty of availability. They said they did not have control over flight prices, but ensured that if prices changed their website prices were updated.
The ASA noted that Broadway Travel said they ensured there was plenty of availability before advertising a package holiday price. However, we noted we had not been provided with any evidence the holiday had been available for £129 at the time the ad appeared. We also noted that the price of £129 was a "from" price, and that this was only stated at the bottom of the web page rather than in the headline price. Because Broadway Travel could not substantiate the price claim and the ad did not state prominently that the price was a "from" price we concluded the ad was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 3.17 (Prices) and 3.28 (Availability).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Broadway Travel to ensure that if prices were "from" prices this was stated in the headline price, and that they held evidence to substantiate price claims.