ASA Adjudication on kgb (UK) Ltd
kgb (UK) Ltd
Cardiff Gate Business Centre
25 July 2012
Internet (sales promotion)
Number of complaints:
A discounted hotel break seen on www.kgbdeals.co.uk was headlined "2-night Exeter break for 2 £129. Value £348. Discount 63%". Immediately beneath, text stated "£129 for a two-night Exeter break for two people, including breakfast and a bottle of wine, worth £348 at Buckerell Lodge - save 63%". Under the heading "need to know", text stated "Save 63% on a two night Exeter break for two. Enjoy breakfast on both days, plus a bottle of wine when you dine in the restaurant".
Vale of Glamorgan Trading Standards Department challenged whether the claims that the break was worth £348 were misleading and could be substantiated.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
kgb (UK) Ltd (kgb) said the value claim would have been verified by their internal team prior to the deal going live but they had been unable to retrieve any documentary evidence that supported the claim. They provided us with an e-mail sent to them by the hotel which explained that the room rate applicable to the deal was £150 per night and breakfast was charged at £10 per person; that equated to £340 for a two-night stay for two people with breakfast. kgb were unable to provide evidence for the price of the bottle of wine included in the offer.
The ASA noted the promotion stated the two-night break was worth £348. The e-mail explained that the room rate of £150 was a "RAC rate". We understood this to be the published full price for the room. However, the hotel's own website showed that the maximum price for a room at Buckerell Lodge was £106.25. We asked kgb to provide evidence such as invoices, which demonstrated the break had been sold for £348 or which showed they had sold rooms and breakfasts at the prices given in the e-mail. We asked them to provide any other documentary evidence they held for the claim but they only provided the e-mail from the hotel. This did not refer to the cost of the bottle of wine included in the offer.
We noted the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Pricing Practices Guide (the Guide) stated traders should not compare their prices with an amount described only as "worth" or "value" and the CAP Code stated that marketers should take the Guide into account when making price statements. We considered the claims that the break was valued at £348 and "worth £348 ... save 63%" would have been understood by consumers as the price at which the break was normally sold. In the absence of sales invoices or further documentary evidence to support this, we concluded the claims were unsubstantiated and misleading.
The promotion breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.17 (Prices)
The promotion must no longer appear. We told kgb to ensure it held adequate substantiation for price claims appearing in promotions in future.